Old and Helpless

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

As of today no parts for GM cars are available. It seems they ran out of everything the first day the workers went on strike. :rolleyes: My wrinkled fender is on order but there is nobody at the GM store to send it to the body shop. As far as the door switch goes, I have a feeling I could get the whole switch panel assembly but not any of the individual parts. I heard many times over that buying replacement parts to build a car would cost about ten times the MSRP. I don't doubt it.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

I don't know if they are still there, or even remember what their name was.
But back in the 1980's, there was a company almost downtown who made fenders.
I know they didn't have computers back then, but their machines could be controlled somehow.
They didn't stock fenders per se, but had the bending pattern for nearly every fender ever made.
Heck, if you needed the sheet metal for '57 Chevy they could run it for you.
When I got the fender for my wife's car, around 1985, they only charged me 35 bucks.
I'm sure it would be a whole lot higher today, if they are still there and still making fenders to order.

I'll bet the guys who worked there had a lot of fun, making unusual custom fenders for themselves.
After all, they had the pattern for the original fender, so would have all the bends and bolt holes right.
But may add other bends to make it look like something else, such as Fins on a car that never had fins, hi hi.

Not that it has to do with cars. But I had an old friend my dad's age, Roger Will, who owned Wilco Plastics.
One of the things they made that kept them in business was the Blanks used to blow 2-liter soda bottles on the bottle filling machines at the soda water companies.
But their real mainline job was vacuforming and blow molding, not injection molding.
They had several contracts for items on a steady ongoing basis, and in between those jobs, they would do custom work for folks who needed prototypes.
When I was racing cars, I met one of the guys who worked there, and he made many parts for his car using their equipment. Everything from spoilers to custom tail lights. You name it and he probably did it to one of his cars, hi hi.
His brother had an old jeep with no doors, and he made a set of clear doors for the jeep, with roll up windows. All the components of the door, except the window glass itself, was made of plastic. He could have made the window glass too, but was worried about the laws regarding window glass on cars.
They looked really neat until the dust and dirt got inside the doors, some leaves, and later some black stains.
His brother sanded and painted the doors after that to hide the ugly inside, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

That fender factory sounds like a great solution. I'd think that the body shops, however, are tied to what the insurance companies allow them to do. Prices for replacement parts are probably negotiated, just like the drug prices in Medicare. If you want to have the insurance people pay for the repair, you must use their recommended suppliers. Why they would pick GM over the parts shop is beyond me, but that's the story I seem to be getting.

A Jeep with any doors seems out of place, but one with transparent doors is surreal. LOL About the weirdest car I ever saw was in St Joseph Michigan. The underside was illuminate by neon lights and looked truly psychedelic at night. I was inspired, but apparently the lawmakers in Illinois explicitly prohibit underside lighting. And any lights on the car have to meet certain color standards. So much for custom cars.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

Yep, here too, they outlawed under-car lighting, except for car show parades.
They also recently outlawed color changing coatings on cars.
Oh, and light-up hub cap spinners too, about a year or two ago. This may include all free floating hub caps also, whether lit or not. I don't remember which elements passed and failed.

Many subdivisions with HOA's have banned vehicles with advertising on them parked overnight.
It was like that at my dad's subdivision back in the '60s and no overnight commercial truck parking.

Down here we see cars and small trucks with commercial advertising on them parked all over the residential areas.
Tourist traps in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge would pay folks like 5 bucks a month to have a certain size decal on their car advertising their name and location. These were not small, at least a foot high, by 18 or more inches long.
And some folks went hog wild and had them on each door on their car, as many as they could fit as a way to pick up an extra 50 or 60 bucks a month, hi hi. Don't see that too much the past few years, maybe they outlawed that too, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

Regulating the lighting on a vehicle might make sense. You don't want to confuse an ordinary automobile with a police car, for example. But advertising? I don't get that one. If the neighbors think it's ugly, don't look at it. I'm just totally against HOA's in principle. Ours has a few hundred regulations. I scanned through them once and they get updated every year. I laugh at them every time. People can be so freaking petty.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

It's a known fact that subdivisions that have no rules have much lower property values.
There are some good points though. You don't have a guy with a regal purple house next to a dayglo pink house.
Or a semi-parked in their front yard for months on end.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

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I guess I've been spoiled by past experiences. Kept two houses for in excess of 25 years each. They were both located in neighborhoods I could easily describe as eclectic. The first house sold for the asking price. The second one a few thousand less, but the market value was outrageous. I mentioned previously that my O'Fallon home was about $100k less for more sq footage. The houses here are under the jurisdiction of the HOA. So I don't know what to say. I never saw a disadvantage to not looking identical to my neighbor's house and begging for blessing just to put a pink flamingo on my front lawn.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

I can honestly say, I've never paid retail for a house.
Most were bought below wholesale, and a few were bought for pennies on the dollar.
Of course those latter ones needed renovating. But the land they were sitting on was usually worth more than 4 times what I paid for the house and land together.
Honest truth here, I bought six houses in one day that I had to close on all on the same day (not the same day I contracted to buy them), which drove the Title Company up a wall getting it all done in order to do all the closings on the same day.

In a small local newsletter that went around to other folks in the wholesale home business, my son and I were featured for landing six houses, each were rentals, with long-term honest tenants in place who always paid on time. One of those tenants was there for over 18 years when we bought the house. All the rest for longer than 5 years with no plans to move out anytime soon. This was a deal I could not pass up, even though in order to swing it, I had to do some mighty fancy financing, and borrow against most of my other assets besides. But we did it! And paid off all the side money we borrowed within a year. I only mortgaged these six houses for one-half of their purchase price, so had to come up with a whopping down payment, hi hi.

All of the rest of the houses I ever bought, except for ones I lived in, were bought for renovation purposes, and I only paid between 6 and 8 thousand each for them. Put about 15 grand in materials into each, labor was about the same, so they all sold for right around 40 thousand dollars, after being appraised at 65 to 72 thousand. I wasn't shooting to sell for retail prices, merely to turn them over and give the buyers instant equity. Made getting loans much easier for them!

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

My point is that HOA's are useless at best and a means for exerting petty control over your neighbors in the worst case. It's presented in the guise of being protection for your investment and to keep the riff raf at bay. My experience living in a neighborhood where diversity ruled didn't negatively affect the market price of my houses one bit. I can see a need for managing the common grounds and the community swimming pool. Fine. I'll pay for that even though I don't use either. But for somebody to make the color of my shades/blinds facing the street a condition of living in the subdivision is going a bit too far. I don't need to pay for that kind of privilege.

I get the idea behind buying houses at wholesale prices. Renovation and resale is a great way to make a living. There's a lot more risk in that kind of occupation compared to the desk job I had for 36 years. But, along with that risk came a lot of practical knowledge. I'd guess the profits were as high as the risks, and I must sympathize with your circumstance that prevented you from retaining all the benefits of your hard work. It's ironic that we both ended up here after traveling such different paths in our life. Just goes to show that the glory is in the way you get here and not the fact that you made it so far. :lol:

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

I loved working on old houses. But because I sold so low, I never really made a killing at it.
I was still working by the Hour so to speak. Except for the time when I hired employees to do a lot of the tasks I should have been doing to get done faster. I've never been pleased with other peoples work, which has always been a problem for me. I'm too much of a perfectionist to let some things slide.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

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I've worked with people on many teams, but I never had people working for me. I don't think I'm a perfectionist, but it does bother me when people do things less than perfect. As long as I'm not responsible for their work, it's OK with me. Maybe that's why I never went into a business of my own. It would be difficult for me to find the right people for the job. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

It really is hard to find dependable workers who know what they are doing.
At least my little lonely product I make now, I can bring someone in for a day to help me, and other than making a mess, it's pretty hard to not get it right, hi hi. I handle the fine measurements, and they only handle the bulk ingredients that get added. Sometimes I have someone bottling and another capping. But now that I have to install the labels, this slows down the production line almost to a standstill. So two of us can handle the whole job with the one doing the bottling and capping taking a 15 minute break every hour to let me catch up, hi hi.

When we didn't have to label the bottles, they were placed in the cartons by the person capping.
I added the paperwork, closed the carton and put it into a case. Along with all the labels and stickers for those.
But now that I have to put on the labels, they don't put the bottles into the cartons anymore, I have to do that after I get the labels on. Also, new packaging requirements take up even more time.
Each carton has to have a plastic bag with an absorbent pad in the bottom. The bottles set in, another absorbent pad placed on top of the bottles, and the bag sealed. Then the carton gets sealed, labeled, and placed in the case.
We used to put four cartons to a case, but after UPS purposely destroyed thousands of dollars worth of product, we now package only two cartons per case. Much harder to destroy, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

I don't think I'd expect much from a day worker and would certainly avoid giving them any jobs that require skill.

I've been pretty lucky with the likes of UPS and FedEx. Everything they delivered here managed to arrive in one piece. I ordered six bottles of juice recently and to my amazement the box arrived undamaged. It helped that they put a lot of bubble pack around the bottles, I suppose. I know a lot of the shipping is automated and out of human control, but it doesn't seem right that UPS would damage the goods deliberately. Regardless, you do want your product to arrive in good condition. The extra packaging would be worth it.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

I had a shipment of 14 cases going out, the big cases with 48 bottles in each.
UPS damaged 8 of those cases. This happened TWICE at the same UPS Hub.

I had them send me back the damaged cases so I could inspect them.
It was clearly obvious a fork lift ran their blades through two of the cartons.
Causing the whole stack to tumble over.
They scooped them up with probably a front loader tractor and dumped them in a large plastic bin.
This is how they were returned to me. I had to unload the plastic bin and send the bin back with the driver.

Now, explain this to me if you can.
All 8 of the cases were opened, and the bottles inside were empty and the caps put back on.
The particular type of cap I use provides a compression type of seal.
To explain. The inside of the cap is not flat. It has a V-shaped groove that pinches the top of the bottle lip when the lid is screwed on to 25 inch pounds.
Of the bottles that did leak, they were smashed exactly like you would expect them to be had a fork lift tine run through the box, folded in half or creased, and a few literally torn open.
So, how did the contents of the sealed bottles get emptied into the big plastic bin over the tops of all the boxes in the bin?

Running into a couple of boxes with a fork lift could have been an accident, that damaged two cases.
But there is no way the other six cases were accidentally damaged. They could withstand a drop from four feet onto a corner and not be damaged. Even so, UPS said they did not pass their packaging guidelines, so they wouldn't cover the damage via insurance.

I obtained the spec sheet on packaging that would be covered. It is physically impossible to package in the manner they suggest to have the item covered by insurance. I forget all the details now, but each plastic bottle would have to have two inches of packaging material around each bottle. This would make the carton larger than the size they would deliver.

The way I package now passes FedEx and International shipping regulations. I didn't pay for the certification. But my new way of packaging means they will never get a leak.

And I really think, after they punctured the two boxes, the mess they had to clean up is what may have disgruntled a few employees who had a hay day opening all the boxes and dumping the contents out into the bin, ruining the entire 8 boxes.

It just so happens I had an overseas shipment to send out, and had the inspector open a case to make sure it met all of their regulations. His exact words were, "although you followed the guidelines exactly, it really is overkill for your type of product, but I'm glad to see you did it, there will be no problems with foreign customs."

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

The juice I ordered comes in 1 qt glass bottles. Since I ordered six bottles they were set into a cardboard tray that is about two inches high. The tray and bottles then had shrink wrap around them to prevent the bottles from jiggling in the tray, I presume. Then, they wrapped the entire shrink wrapped tray of bottles in at least two inches of bubble pack; it was probably closer to four inches on all six sides. It was a snug fit into the cardboard box and probably could have been dropped from four feet without sustaining damage. It arrived at my place via FedEx in perfect condition.

I think you are on the right track to suspect some deliberate damage in that shipment you described. There was obviously some accidental damage too, unless you were being targeted for some reason. I doubt the guys in the sorting center have time to hunt down a specific shipment so that the initial damage probably was an accident. Why they made an effort to damage it even more is a puzzle. It would take a lot of their time to empty those bottles and reseal them. Sounds weird, but I would not put it past them.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

I've actually seen it happen with a liquid product sold by a soda company.
This happened in the drivers delivery truck.
A case fell that contained four glass gallon jugs, it broke putting soda syrup all over his truck.
He was so pissed, he knocked the other three cases off the shelf onto the floor, then picked up the first box that fell and plopped it right on top of the other boxes so the syrup ran down over all of them.
I'm sure when he got back to the HUB, he just pushed them out onto the ground and then hosed out his truck.

I had to ship a rather expensive statue I had sold on eBay all the way to Washington State.
I wrapped that thing in soft fluffy tissue first, put it in its original box, then wrapped that box with bubble wrap, placed it in another box. Then put that box in a big box and filled it with excelsior. There was no way that sucker would ever get broken.
The guy who received it was glad to see the way I packaged it, because he said the outer box that contained the excelsior was torn up really bad, and all four corners were dented in which caused a couple of seams to rip apart.
But the statue inside the several layers was unharmed.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

Several years ago I sent a box of home made cookies to England. They were thin and light, but still that's a long way to go. My first surprise was that they got past customs. I figured even if they were legal the inspectors might be tempted to sample them to be sure they were safe. LOL I did something similar to what you did. The cookies went inside a box that was crammed with parchment paper to make them more or less stable. Then that box went inside another box. I simply crumpled up newsprint about 4" per side. No problem upon arrival.

You probably have the scenario down pat regarding the pissed off truck driver with liquid all over the place. Of course the problem is always with the way the liquid is packed and not the rough handling along the way. The last time I was at the UPS store they asked a dozen questions about the contents. One was if there were explosives in the box. I guess they have to ask that, but who would admit it if there was?

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

When my cousin was stationed in Alaska, I sent him a huge watermelon.
You would never believe in a million years all the steps I had to go through to do this legally.
And even with all the approved inspections, permits, and everything else required.
It had to be packaged and sealed in front of military inspectors who would certify it as an official military shipment.
Without that, it would have never been allowed to be shipped to a military base.
He did receive it safe and sound, and at the right ripeness it was delicious. Really made his day!
Not counting all the gas for running around, and time spent getting all the necessary paperwork.
The cost for all the permits and a shipping license was over 100 bucks and the shipping itself was like 80 bucks due to the weight for air-freight. I had the money back then, but didn't expect it would cost that much to surprise him.
It is something we talk about from time to time now for over 50 years, so was worth it if you look at it that way.

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yogi
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by yogi »

There are a few military stations which are more remote than Alaska, but not many. LOL The watermelon was an absolutely brilliant idea. It makes sense that they would want to be certain you aren't sending anything other than a watermelon to a military base, but I too didn't realize it was that difficult. I have these vague memories from around the Eisenhower era where our family was sending stuff to some relative in the army. Might have been Korea. It was to an APO as I recall. Can't say for sure, but I am reasonably confident cookies and baked goods were in the packages. I don't think my family would have spent the time and money you did, but maybe they did.

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Kellemora
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Re: Old and Helpless

Post by Kellemora »

OK to send things like cookies. But Produce of any kind is a big No No to send across state lines, much less to another country. Now although Alaska is owned by the United States, and is one of our states, you cross country boundary lines to get there.
I think mainly they inspected for bugs, parasites, and the fact it was not a BOMB, hi hi.
The fact it crossed our northern border required an international permit to ship produce, even though it was a single item, leaving from American Soil and landing on American Soil by military transport. The APO service plane I think.

I've often sent candy, cookies, smokes, and a few other things, but we could not send something like Fruit Roll Ups, even though they are a candy. The only way to send something like fruit jelly was if it was in a CAN not a jar or something that could be opened and closed again. That was the big thing, anything sent had to be in a factory sealed container that could not be opened without destroying the container. Which basically meant, only canned goods.

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