Memories of the conversations with my cat – 94

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160921_071506

This is Chester.

We are in the middle of a philosophical debate.

No, it’s not about whether the world is flat, though sometimes I think he has that notion, as well as all humans are basically stupid.

I’ve been thinking about the pandemic and how it might meld into a plotline for a story.

Chester is not happy that I should use China as the country with global ambitions, after using the term ‘global domination’ and got a very silky retort.

He doesn’t seem to think that by causing a pandemic, making each of the G20 nations basically launch themselves into insolvency in order to maintain some semblance of economic stability, that China, who miraculously recovers, becomes the nation who saves the world?

It sounded quite good in my head.

Particularly when you see nations like the USA, the only other country that could tackle China as a ‘savior’ state, is going slowly down the gurgler.   Or so it seems, and it’s only a matter of time before something gives.

Chester and I now have mandatory viewing every morning, the Donald Trump show, where we lay bets as to whom he’s going to fire or lambast.

Chester thought the Doctor was gone for all money on Monday.

My money was on the reporter, who wouldn’t stop asking questions.

But today, it might be about Joe Biden and the Democrats, and the ramping up of the Republican’s political campaign.  Who said the COVID briefings had to be about that mundane virus?

Still, it’s back to the drawing board.  The overall plot is good, creating a virus that brings almost every nation to its knees, and one that rises out of the ashes to ‘save the world’.  It’s like you don’t need bullets and arms to fight a war, just a hell of a sneaky virus; you know, infecting people when you don’t know you’ve got it and infecting others.

Hang on, Chester’s calling.  It’s time for the Donald Trump show.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 94

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160921_071506

This is Chester.

We are in the middle of a philosophical debate.

No, it’s not about whether the world is flat, though sometimes I think he has that notion, as well as all humans are basically stupid.

I’ve been thinking about the pandemic and how it might meld into a plotline for a story.

Chester is not happy that I should use China as the country with global ambitions, after using the term ‘global domination’ and got a very silky retort.

He doesn’t seem to think that by causing a pandemic, making each of the G20 nations basically launch themselves into insolvency in order to maintain some semblance of economic stability, that China, who miraculously recovers, becomes the nation who saves the world?

It sounded quite good in my head.

Particularly when you see nations like the USA, the only other country that could tackle China as a ‘savior’ state, is going slowly down the gurgler.   Or so it seems, and it’s only a matter of time before something gives.

Chester and I now have mandatory viewing every morning, the Donald Trump show, where we lay bets as to whom he’s going to fire or lambast.

Chester thought the Doctor was gone for all money on Monday.

My money was on the reporter, who wouldn’t stop asking questions.

But today, it might be about Joe Biden and the Democrats, and the ramping up of the Republican’s political campaign.  Who said the COVID briefings had to be about that mundane virus?

Still, it’s back to the drawing board.  The overall plot is good, creating a virus that brings almost every nation to its knees, and one that rises out of the ashes to ‘save the world’.  It’s like you don’t need bullets and arms to fight a war, just a hell of a sneaky virus; you know, infecting people when you don’t know you’ve got it and infecting others.

Hang on, Chester’s calling.  It’s time for the Donald Trump show.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 93

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160917_075223

This is Chester.  We’re getting by during the ‘stay at home’ order.

I’m doing just that, though it sometimes feels like I’m in jail, on the inside looking out.

“Now you know how I feel”, Chester tells me, after jumping up on the window ledge to look out the window, trying to see what had caught my interest.

I don’t tell him I’m basically staring into space.

Except, a car passes, not fast, not slow, but much like the rest of the traffic that passes by.  Or used to.  With the order to stay at home, and the fact schools are not open, there have been fewer and fewer cars passing by.

“Didn’t that car…” Chester mutters.

He’s right.  The same car just went back the other way.  Slow, but not too slow.

“Perhaps’s he’s looking for a house, a particular address.”

We watch and wait.

Five minutes later the car has returned and stops outside my window.  A man gets out the passenger side, says something to the driver, then closes the door.  He starts walking back up the street from where the car had just come.

The car drives off, then a minute later is back, and parks on the other side of the road.  We can see the driver.  Not the sort of person you’d want to need on a dark night.  Tattoos on his arm, and smoking a cigarette, negligently stopping ask on the road below his window.

“He’s watching,” Chester says.

“He’s a lookout?”

We’re both thinking the same.  A crime is being committed.  They’ve scoped the street for an unattended house, a rarity for obvious reasons, though these days robbers rob the house while you’re still in it.

We wait.  Three minutes later the other man comes running very quickly to the car, jumps in and they drive off very quickly before the man had closed the door.

Seconds later another man appears with a baseball bat in his hand.

“Close call,” Chester says, interest now waning.  He jumps down.  “Pity they didn’t catch the robber.”

Perhaps.  But one thing is for sure, those robbers will not be back.

Diversion over, back to boredom.  Chester has gone back to one of his hiding spots.  I’m going to do another crossword.

Six months is going to be a long, long, long, long time.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 93

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160917_075223

This is Chester.  We’re getting by during the ‘stay at home’ order.

I’m doing just that, though it sometimes feels like I’m in jail, on the inside looking out.

“Now you know how I feel”, Chester tells me, after jumping up on the window ledge to look out the window, trying to see what had caught my interest.

I don’t tell him I’m basically staring into space.

Except, a car passes, not fast, not slow, but much like the rest of the traffic that passes by.  Or used to.  With the order to stay at home, and the fact schools are not open, there have been fewer and fewer cars passing by.

“Didn’t that car…” Chester mutters.

He’s right.  The same car just went back the other way.  Slow, but not too slow.

“Perhaps’s he’s looking for a house, a particular address.”

We watch and wait.

Five minutes later the car has returned and stops outside my window.  A man gets out the passenger side, says something to the driver, then closes the door.  He starts walking back up the street from where the car had just come.

The car drives off, then a minute later is back, and parks on the other side of the road.  We can see the driver.  Not the sort of person you’d want to need on a dark night.  Tattoos on his arm, and smoking a cigarette, negligently stopping ask on the road below his window.

“He’s watching,” Chester says.

“He’s a lookout?”

We’re both thinking the same.  A crime is being committed.  They’ve scoped the street for an unattended house, a rarity for obvious reasons, though these days robbers rob the house while you’re still in it.

We wait.  Three minutes later the other man comes running very quickly to the car, jumps in and they drive off very quickly before the man had closed the door.

Seconds later another man appears with a baseball bat in his hand.

“Close call,” Chester says, interest now waning.  He jumps down.  “Pity they didn’t catch the robber.”

Perhaps.  But one thing is for sure, those robbers will not be back.

Diversion over, back to boredom.  Chester has gone back to one of his hiding spots.  I’m going to do another crossword.

Six months is going to be a long, long, long, long time.

I would not want to be a car salesman!

Buying a new car is an experience most of us would regard as a chore at best and a waste of valuable time at worst.

It would be a lot easier if the salespeople actually treated you with the respect you deserved. The problem is, while most of them are polite and affable, underneath that seemingly ‘I’m your best friend’ countenance, is the I’m uttered words ‘ how much can I make from this deal’.

And that’s the truth of it.

It all comes down to money.

How much your willing to pay, and how much they can screw out of you.

Sorry, but after years and years of dealing with these people, I have built up considerable cynicism

But, once again, it’s time to go out into the shady underworld of car sales to get a new car, or as the case will be this time, a new SUV.

We don’t have a lot of money to spend this time, so the choices are going to be limited, and unlike years past when I could used the business to pay for a lease, and therefore watch the salesman load the price of the car to make it seem like we were getting more for our trade in than it was worth, this time it’s a straight cash transaction.

First thing we notice is that all the advertised prices are loaded for people buying with finance. So, we said there’s no trade in, and we’re paying cash, and they say the price is the same.

Liars.

We haven’t event got out of the block, and they’re barefaced lying to us.

We have a short list of three. All three when approached with no trade in, pay by cash deal said it wouldn’t affect the price.

A good enough reason to just walk away, but that had the effect of getting, at the very least, their attention. Never seen a salesman yet who would let a customer just walk away.

OK, So now we know there is some movement on the price. Not much, but it’s a start.

First car is a Honda CRV. In reality there’s really only a few models truly equating to basic, better, best, and top of the range. Prices run from 28000 to 50000 before the dealer starts loading the price with imaginary costs like the ubiquitous dealer delivery charge, otherwise known as guaranteed profit.

Whatever else the salesman can bluff out of the customer adds to his commission and the unwritten profit margin per car that’s been set by the manager.

You can always tell who the manager is, he’s the one all the sales people go to when pretending to discuss any further allowances in the prices to the advantage of the customer.

Its more likely a discussion about the footy picking competition, if it’s winter, or the next cricket match if it’s summer.

Sometimes they’ll find a few dollars or thrown in a freebie, but most times there’s no change.

That’s when you walk.

It’s where you discover that their so-called best prices us nothing like what they can do if it means losing a sale. Or not.

You have to be prepared to walk away, especially if there’s no prospect of a better deal, and even if that’s the car you want. There are other dealers.

There are also other cars. I’ve found it’s not a good idea to get hooked on one particular car. It’s why we have a shortlist of three. I could live with any one of them.

The Honda people are affable, the salesman shows us the car, gives an little talk about the features, and we go for a test drive.

It fits the criteria, and has a few bells and whistles, like the screen, and safety features. The cost to get those bells and whistles might be too much.

We go then to see the Rav4.

First thing we learn, that Toyota is the biggest car company in the world, and the largest seller of vehicles in the world

Relevance?

Well I suppose that’s meant to make us feel better about the car, that Toyota wouldn’t be the biggest and best if they sold crummy cars.

Not buying it. Any car manufacturer can make a lemon, and happily sell it to an unsuspecting purchase.

We get a run down of the car on a large interactive t.v. screen. It certainly had the features were looking for, has the same 4 types of models, and roughly the same pricing.

The test drive proved that it met our on road requirements. Similar pricing to the Honda, a like the previous dealer, not a lot of room to move on price, surprise surprise, but one more advantage, fixed price servicing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

The third contender is a Nissan X Trail. The same model structure but with a slight difference, there’s a special on, giving the second top model a little more incentive to buy. Still, at 40000 it’s more than we were expecting to pay.

But..

The first experience with sales is not only disappointing, it was unprofessional. Never have someone on the floor who apparently knows nothing about the products being sold.

I walk out.

My wife doesn’t, mainly because one of the real salesmen had noticed the problem, and wasn’t going to let a sale slip through his fingers.

He does know his stuff, and the sales experience is one of the best we’ve had.

But…

Still can’t get past the first impression.

So after spending about 4 hours on the road in the various cars, it’s time to made a decision.

Or not.

Perhaps it’s time to simply think about it.

My preference was for the Nissan X-trail but it’s remarkable how a bad experience in a car dealership can put you off. Now it’s back to one of the three.

In order to make an informed decision I think we need to look at the basic model and it’s bottom line features.

In that regard, The Rav4 wins hands down.

So, we’re going with the Rav4, and back to the dealership for round two.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 92

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160922_162007

This is Chester.  He’s been missing a lot.

It’s the confined to quarters thing he doesn’t understand.  We had the discussion about the coronavirus, and the need to stay at home and only go out when there is a reason to go out, like to get food.

Which brought up another concern that he didn’t let go of,  that he didn’t think we had enough cat food or cat litter, or treats, though he didn’t define what he meant by treats.

I assumed it was real fish.

I didn’t tell him that it was a treat for us too, the cost of Barramundi and Salmon just a little expensive for pensioners.

Not that he remembered that we have been pensioners since April last year.

I swear that cat is getting more forgetful.  And, yes, that was another heated debate, whether he was getting dementia.

So, now he’s been taking to his hiding places, and keeping away from me, coming out only to get a pat or two from my other half, and give me the daggers look.  And eat, though some nights he turns his nose up at it.

You can tell his displeased because some of it ends up in his water bowl, and then sits by the water bowl and moans and groans till the water’s replaced.

I swear I’m going to go bonkers if we are forced to stay in the same place much longer.

His annual visit to the vet is coming up, and maybe I can get something for his grumpiness.

 

In a word: Good

There is a TV show that was on the TV called ‘The Good Place’.

It’s really the bad place which makes you wonder if there really is a ‘good place’.

This started me thinking.

How many people do you know, when you ask them how they are, they say ‘good’?

Can we see behind the facade that is their expression of how they really feel?

And how many of us reveal our true feelings?

It seems to me there is an acceptable level of understanding that we take people at their word and move on from there.

And how many times when we suspect there is something wrong, we tend to overlook it in what is regarded as respect for that person?

What if something awful happened?

What if we could have prevented it?

What if we could have tried to gently probe deeper?

The problem is we seem to be too polite and there is nothing wrong with that.

But maybe, just maybe, the next time …

It’s just a thought.

 

I would not want to be a car salesman!

Buying a new car is an experience most of us would regard as a chore at best and a waste of valuable time at worst.

It would be a lot easier if the salespeople actually treated you with the respect you deserved. The problem is, while most of them are polite and affable, underneath that seemingly ‘I’m your best friend’ countenance, is the I’m uttered words ‘ how much can I make from this deal’.

And that’s the truth of it.

It all comes down to money.

How much your willing to pay, and how much they can screw out of you.

Sorry, but after years and years of dealing with these people, I have built up considerable cynicism

But, once again, it’s time to go out into the shady underworld of car sales to get a new car, or as the case will be this time, a new SUV.

We don’t have a lot of money to spend this time, so the choices are going to be limited, and unlike years past when I could used the business to pay for a lease, and therefore watch the salesman load the price of the car to make it seem like we were getting more for our trade in than it was worth, this time it’s a straight cash transaction.

First thing we notice is that all the advertised prices are loaded for people buying with finance. So, we said there’s no trade in, and we’re paying cash, and they say the price is the same.

Liars.

We haven’t event got out of the block, and they’re barefaced lying to us.

We have a short list of three. All three when approached with no trade in, pay by cash deal said it wouldn’t affect the price.

A good enough reason to just walk away, but that had the effect of getting, at the very least, their attention. Never seen a salesman yet who would let a customer just walk away.

OK, So now we know there is some movement on the price. Not much, but it’s a start.

First car is a Honda CRV. In reality there’s really only a few models truly equating to basic, better, best, and top of the range. Prices run from 28000 to 50000 before the dealer starts loading the price with imaginary costs like the ubiquitous dealer delivery charge, otherwise known as guaranteed profit.

Whatever else the salesman can bluff out of the customer adds to his commission and the unwritten profit margin per car that’s been set by the manager.

You can always tell who the manager is, he’s the one all the sales people go to when pretending to discuss any further allowances in the prices to the advantage of the customer.

Its more likely a discussion about the footy picking competition, if it’s winter, or the next cricket match if it’s summer.

Sometimes they’ll find a few dollars or thrown in a freebie, but most times there’s no change.

That’s when you walk.

It’s where you discover that their so-called best prices us nothing like what they can do if it means losing a sale. Or not.

You have to be prepared to walk away, especially if there’s no prospect of a better deal, and even if that’s the car you want. There are other dealers.

There are also other cars. I’ve found it’s not a good idea to get hooked on one particular car. It’s why we have a shortlist of three. I could live with any one of them.

The Honda people are affable, the salesman shows us the car, gives an little talk about the features, and we go for a test drive.

It fits the criteria, and has a few bells and whistles, like the screen, and safety features. The cost to get those bells and whistles might be too much.

We go then to see the Rav4.

First thing we learn, that Toyota is the biggest car company in the world, and the largest seller of vehicles in the world

Relevance?

Well I suppose that’s meant to make us feel better about the car, that Toyota wouldn’t be the biggest and best if they sold crummy cars.

Not buying it. Any car manufacturer can make a lemon, and happily sell it to an unsuspecting purchase.

We get a run down of the car on a large interactive t.v. screen. It certainly had the features were looking for, has the same 4 types of models, and roughly the same pricing.

The test drive proved that it met our on road requirements. Similar pricing to the Honda, a like the previous dealer, not a lot of room to move on price, surprise surprise, but one more advantage, fixed price servicing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

The third contender is a Nissan X Trail. The same model structure but with a slight difference, there’s a special on, giving the second top model a little more incentive to buy. Still, at 40000 it’s more than we were expecting to pay.

But..

The first experience with sales is not only disappointing, it was unprofessional. Never have someone on the floor who apparently knows nothing about the products being sold.

I walk out.

My wife doesn’t, mainly because one of the real salesmen had noticed the problem, and wasn’t going to let a sale slip through his fingers.

He does know his stuff, and the sales experience is one of the best we’ve had.

But…

Still can’t get past the first impression.

So after spending about 4 hours on the road in the various cars, it’s time to made a decision.

Or not.

Perhaps it’s time to simply think about it.

My preference was for the Nissan X-trail but it’s remarkable how a bad experience in a car dealership can put you off. Now it’s back to one of the three.

In order to make an informed decision I think we need to look at the basic model and it’s bottom line features.

In that regard, The Rav4 wins hands down.

So, we’re going with the Rav4, and back to the dealership for round two.

Memories of the conversations with my cat – 92

As some may be aware, but many not, Chester, my faithful writing assistant, mice catcher, and general pain in the neck, passed away some months ago.

Recently I was running a series based on his adventures, under the title of Past Conversations with my cat.

For those who have not had the chance to read about all of his exploits I will run the series again from Episode 1

These are the memories of our time together…

20160922_162007

This is Chester.  He’s been missing a lot.

It’s the confined to quarters thing he doesn’t understand.  We had the discussion about the coronavirus, and the need to stay at home and only go out when there is a reason to go out, like to get food.

Which brought up another concern that he didn’t let go of,  that he didn’t think we had enough cat food or cat litter, or treats, though he didn’t define what he meant by treats.

I assumed it was real fish.

I didn’t tell him that it was a treat for us too, the cost of Barramundi and Salmon just a little expensive for pensioners.

Not that he remembered that we have been pensioners since April last year.

I swear that cat is getting more forgetful.  And, yes, that was another heated debate, whether he was getting dementia.

So, now he’s been taking to his hiding places, and keeping away from me, coming out only to get a pat or two from my other half, and give me the daggers look.  And eat, though some nights he turns his nose up at it.

You can tell his displeased because some of it ends up in his water bowl, and then sits by the water bowl and moans and groans till the water’s replaced.

I swear I’m going to go bonkers if we are forced to stay in the same place much longer.

His annual visit to the vet is coming up, and maybe I can get something for his grumpiness.

 

In a word: Good

There is a TV show that was on the TV called ‘The Good Place’.

It’s really the bad place which makes you wonder if there really is a ‘good place’.

This started me thinking.

How many people do you know, when you ask them how they are, they say ‘good’?

Can we see behind the facade that is their expression of how they really feel?

And how many of us reveal our true feelings?

It seems to me there is an acceptable level of understanding that we take people at their word and move on from there.

And how many times when we suspect there is something wrong, we tend to overlook it in what is regarded as respect for that person?

What if something awful happened?

What if we could have prevented it?

What if we could have tried to gently probe deeper?

The problem is we seem to be too polite and there is nothing wrong with that.

But maybe, just maybe, the next time …

It’s just a thought.