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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck
Old 05-05-2006, 11:03 PM   #61
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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck

Originally Posted by free4now
I have to side with Nords.* When I want something done, if it's something I can do it's much faster and simpler to do it myself.*
I have to add a full disclosure. Today we took the bunny to the vet for his semi-annual nail trim checkup. I don't have the time or the patience to learn this job.

The bunny immediately knew who was in charge as soon as he plopped down on the scale (the usual four pounds, one ounce). The vet poked & probed everywhere, putting fingers in places that normally would earn us a sharp bite. Ears were checked for mites. Eyes were checked for cataracts. Teeth were examined with a fiber-optic camera probe (yummy) output to the screen from a DVD player. (A highly technical discussion ensued regarding the merits of fiber content in timothy hay versus orchard grass for grinding down rabbit molars.) All our questions were answered. A funny-looking spot in one ear was sampled, prepped on a slide, and laid out under a microscope for our kid to examine as the vet pointed out epithelial cells and red blood cells... all normal. The best part was wrapping the squirming hairball in a bath towel and holding him still to trim all 18 toenails. The bunny fought a spirited battle but lost all 18 rounds, exhausted, and spent the rest of the day sulking napping in a corner of the family room.

$30-- worth every penny, especially the kid's biology lesson. (Veterinarians are ranked #5 on the list of most financially rewarding professions in "Millionaire Women Next Door".) But vets are much easier to find than plumbers, they keep appointments, and they don't get emergency calls halfway through your job...


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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck
Old 05-06-2006, 12:46 AM   #62
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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck

Originally Posted by razztazz
Remember the epsiode of Andy Griffith where Aunt Bea has this old freezer she wants to fix so she can save money by storing a yrs worth of beef? She keeps trying to fix it on the cheap and Andy keeps repeating "Aunt Bea. Call THE MAN! That's how I do it.

. . .
I would prefer to do it this way, but there's a big problem. I find that about 3/4 of the time THE MAN is incompetent, or worse . . . a crook. For example, I am not a motorhead. I do not enjoy working on my cars. I would gladly pay 10x the cost of materials to have someone else do the service. But finding a decent mechanic is not trivial. And while you search, your car keeps getting mangled and the bill keeps going up.

We have a lot of discussions on this board about financial planners. Most seem to agree that not only are they not worth the money, they actually benefit by screwing you. How is it any different for auto mechanics, concrete workers, etc.? Even when I feel like I have to hire THE MAN, identifying, hiring and scheduling the right man is a lot of work.

I have my own gas powered concrete saw stories. Hire an irrigation company to fix a leak in your 36 inch burried concrete pipe and he will charge you $500 to $1500 dollars. Pick up a shovel, a bag of quickcrete and rent a gas powered concrete saw and you can do the whole thing in a couple of hours for about $50. Do this two or three times a year and you're talking real money. And by the way, my success rate is twice as good as the pros. I think one of the reasons they charge so much is because they screw it up and have to come back once or twice.

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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck
Old 05-06-2006, 06:39 AM   #63
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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck

Originally Posted by Nords
I have to add a full disclosure. Today we took the bunny to the vet for his semi-annual nail trim checkup. I don't have the time or the patience to learn this job.

We cut our dogs toenails, check regularly for ear mites and have thought about vaccinating them ourselves. But because they need to go to the vet yearly to get checked out, we have left the vaccinating to the vet.

One thing that helps with cutting nails on pets that don't like it is putting them on a surface that they are not used to and are not comfortable on. Our dog Judy hates having her nails cut. I put her on the kitchen island. She isn't confident there and will suffer through the process. We do have to remove the other dog from the room. Otherwise, when Judy gets put on the floor she will snap at him.

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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck
Old 05-06-2006, 09:18 AM   #64
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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck

Originally Posted by Nords
The bunny fought a spirited battle but lost all 18 rounds
This bunny wouldnt fight someone cutting his nails for him. Or lose if he did

I've actually found it easier to do most small to medium jobs myself than to simply get an ESTIMATE on something done. My dads recent case was a great one. Had some carpet he wanted replaced with tile in a hallway. Has to make an appointment, the usual 'sometime between noon and three' turned into four o'clock when the guy 'got lost' and couldnt find my dads development...the largest and most well known retirement development (Sun City) in the area. When he finally shows up, he's a retired guy who doesnt know anything at all about tiling. Just takes the measurements. In the process, he determines the area to be tiled is "the livingroom". My dad tells him its a hallway, not the livingroom. Guy says "I can see the living room from where I am, so its the living room. If I say its a hallway, it'll just confuse the installers. My dad points out that he can see his bedroom from there as well, so is it also the bedroom in addition to being the living room? :

So guy that doesnt know anything goes off. Lady at home depot never calls. My dad calls the next day. She's not there, and they cant find her paperwork. In the meanwhile he's priced the materials (about a hundred bucks) and figures the labor to be about four hours for a skilled person. Later the home depot lady calls him from home and says that its going to be about $800. When he asks questions about what is and isnt included, she doesnt know. When he says that it seems a bit expensive and that he's considering other options, she says "ok, goodbye" and hangs up.

He does it himself for about a hundred bucks and about 6 hours work. I think he spent six hours talking to people on the phone, waiting for people to show up, and calling people back to get them to actually cough up an estimate.

SG's comment about people you DO actually get to come out and do the work being incompetent also seems to stand. At least half the time I do hire someone, it reinforces my interest in not hiring any future work out when I have to re-do what they did. And they're supposed to be experts and i'm a hack!
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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck
Old 05-09-2006, 12:34 PM   #65
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Re: Out of the blue expenses suck

Originally Posted by Azanon

I grew up in rural Arkansas. Just about any man here would be willing to do the same, and you'd be viewed as a little strange if you had to "pay" someone to do your killing for you' or simply "ye aren't from around here are yae".

reminds me of the New Jersey taxidermist that entered an Arkansas bar. A hush fell over the crowd since he was obviously not local considering his dress and demeanor. Finally the bartender began talking to him.

bartender: "where ya from?"
taxidermist: "New Jersey"
bartender: "what do ya do for a livin'"
taxidermist: "I'm a taxidermist"
bartender: "what's that mean?"
taxidermist "I mount animals"

at which point the bartender shouts out "it's ok, everyone, he's one of us!!"

I have an inferiority complex, but it's not a very good one.
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