Category Archives: Rancho Roly Poly

What a revoltin’ development…

Jackie Gleason used to say that on The Honeymooners. “What a revoltin’ development this is.”***

We bought the mini-rancho “as is,” with multiple broken appliances. We knew about the broken microwave, the broken garbage disposal, the broken stove, and the broken ice maker in the fridge. We thought we were safe with the dishwasher. After all our buyer’s inspector ran water through it on one cycle and pronounced it good.

We ran soap and dishes through it this afternoon and it flooded the kitchen.

That’s because the soap dispenser is broken. It releases the soap all at once. This was not disclosed on the seller’s disclosure form. The seller gave us a $500 security deposit so they could stay in the mini-rancho nine days after closing. We’re inclined to keep the money to get another dishwasher.

Bar remembered the other thing Gleason used to say: “Hey Ed, how’s things down in the sewer?”

UPDATE***:  Yipes! It wasn’t Gleason who said it. It was William Bendix in The Life of Riley, a 1940s “American radio situation comedy series…that was adapted into a 1949 feature film, a 1950s television series, and a 1958 comic book.” Embarrassing!


Off-line for a while

Pulling the plug on the old AT&T innertubes connection today and moving to reopen shop on Spectrum (Time-Warner in disguise) by Monday at the latest.

We’re moving from the rancho to the mini-rancho, sans roly polys we hope, still under the trees but poised on the edge of Neely’s Canyon in the hill country. Today, moving some stuff over, Barbara Ellen was enthralled with the animules: a family of white-tailed deer just below us on our fenced porch. She’s the reason we didn’t find a mini-rancho on a ridgeline this time. Haven’t lived on a ridge in sixteen years.

I do miss the sunrises and sunsets, but BE prefers to watch the deer, the squirrels and the birds, and I prefer to watch her be happy.

We forgot the attic

In cleaning out, throwing out, and giving away the accumulated stuff of 25 years, and finally sitting back and congratulating ourselves on nearing the finish line we remembered what we forgot: the attic.

Dust-covered boxes up there. An antique electric typewriter (someone please explain that to the millennials), a boogie board (someone please explain that to the boomers), and reams of paper documenting G-d knows what.

Too hot to even venture up there these days, let along make an extended stay. Yet it must be done for the coming sale of the rancho. There’s no room at the mini-rancho.

This is going to have be a 5 a.m.operation. Tomorrow.

No buyer-seller meeting

Closed on the condo this morning in separate meetings, buyer and seller, two hours apart. Last time I closed on a house was 2003 when buyers and sellers still met at the closing.

Not anymore. Title lady said it was because buyers and sellers disclose personal information at closing. Uh huh. I think it’s because realtors try to keep them separate to avoid an argument that blows up the deal.

Got another one in you?

So at age 75 I was approved for a 20-year mortgage on a condo. And the guy said “Is this your last one? Do you have another one in you?”

Me: “I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.” It is my fifth mortgage with this company in 32 years.


Downsizing at 75.


Usually we’re treated to a few illegal firecrackers and bottle rockets in the neighborhood on the evening of July 4. Not this year. Someone a few streets over from the rancho threw up a Roman candle or three with dazzling exploding gold stars. They were over in a few seconds but still worth it. It was Independence Day, after all. What better way to celebrate than by breaking an onerous law.