Wet and wetter.

While the rest of you were discussing heat in the Pacific Northwest, we had our own extreme weather here – 6.5 inches of rain in 24 hours, which left the whole city and much of the suburbs under water. Probably the worst were the freeways, where the underpass pumps failed in large numbers. People had to abandon their cars and now, 36 hours later, large stretches of the freeways still look like this:

This looks like it was taken closer to sunrise, not long after the worst of it passed:

And how did the Nall-Derringer Co-Prosperity Sphere fare? Amazingly, astoundingly well. Two floor drains puddled and then receded. Zero damage. The kind of luck that makes you think you live under a lucky star, or something. The hand of fate spared us, this time. In Grosse Pointe Park, which is connected to a pumping station that failed, they weren’t so lucky. Basements were inundated – floating furniture, ruined electronics, the whole bit. We helped some friends pump out a minor flood in their own basement (6 or 7 inches), and it was just like being back in the Fort, I’m telling you.

It also reminded me to do two things in the next few weeks: Have our drains rootered, just because it’s been a while; and move stuff up off the floors and lower levels in the basement. It’s only a matter of time.

More pictures? Sure. These were the freeways Saturday morning:

Every few years, Grosse Pointe does one of those public art projects where they give blank objects to artists and let them paint them, then sell them as a fundraiser. Since we’ve been there, they’ve done frogs, dogs, fish and this year, hearts. Businesses buy them and put them outside their businesses. This one was bolted to the wall of this office building, but when the water rose, that fish obviously saw his opportunity to make an escape:

And with that, I just got a text asking for help clearing a sodden basement, so I think I’ll go polish my karma a little. You all stay dry out there, or cool, or otherwise adapted to whatever apocalyptic weather event is befalling your part of the world today.

Posted at 9:57 am in Current events, Detroit life |
 

40 responses to “Wet and wetter.”

  1. Deborah said on June 27, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Holy cow, those photos are shocking. Meanwhile in the southwest we’re drying up and blowing away. Although the monsoon season has finally come to northern NM, as I type this it’s gently raining (the best kind) in Santa Fe and rain is predicted for every day this week. We shall see if that actually happens **fingers crossed** it’s not unusual for that forecast to change drastically.

    On another note as I was typing the last comment in the preceding thread, so when it went live I saw the new post indicator. Oh well.

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  2. Icarus said on June 27, 2021 at 11:44 am

    My SIL’s basement in Grosse Pointe (I think she’s Farms) and the icing on the cake: her house is on the market and under contract so just a few weeks from now this would have been someone else’s problem.

    I’ve been doing my best to purge here. We had a neighborhood garage sale and made $150 but when you break down the time we put in, it comes to about $25 an hour not including schlepping things down to the garage and then to Goodwill when they didn’t sell.

    In the weeks to come, I’m gonna be even more busy posting to FB MarketPlace, the free sites and even eBay. Along with multiple trips to GoodWill.

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  3. Heather said on June 27, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Lots of rain in Chicago as well. I saw a video on Twitter taken not far from me showing water spouting 100-150 feet into the air from the sewer–the manholes had been blown off. It’s no longer available but after I saw that I went down and checked our basement. All clear, whew.

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  4. Sherri said on June 27, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    The overnight low in Seattle was 73, setting a new record which will stand until tonight.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on June 27, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    We’ve lived through a basement flood as well as helping Mom with one and they are pure misery. Everything got raised off the floor after that and a battery back up sump pump was installed.

    The flooded streets are yet another example of how much we need infrastructure improvement.

    For everyone in the west with its heat wave, are there many around you without AC? An old friend in Seattle doesn’t, and she’s not in good shape so I’m worried about her, and everyone in similar situations. Oldsters and those with chronic health condition are affected by the extreme heat so much more than we realize. Or, often, they realize.

    We had a farewell and blessing at church this morning, so I’ve cried plenty of tears today. Of all the “lasts”, that was one of the hardest.

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  6. basset said on June 27, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    I see from the back issues that Mrs. B and I met Nancy in person on this day, or at least this weekend, five years ago. Doesn’t seem like it’s been nearly that long. I wore a Google Fiber t-shirt in the picture, thought at the time that the line might reach us in our 80s suburb but it never did.

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  7. beb said on June 27, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    I was going to do some running around Saturday then heard about all the highway flooding, and since I would be mostly in freeways decided to wait till Sunday when things have had a chance to be pumped out. Come Sunday and the news is still showing a lot of flooded sections of the freeway. Maybe I’ll wait until Monday….

    Our daughter was in the basement today and noticed signs that there had been water on the floor. Don’t know if the water came up the drain and ran inside from overflowing eaves. We live in a post-war house built with no overhangs. Never seemed like a problem until we had trouble with a leaking roof. With an overhang if the gutters got plugged the water would overflow away from the walls.

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  8. Sherri said on June 27, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    104 today, an all time high, a record that should stand until tomorrow, when the forecast high is 110. Fortunately, after that we’ll actually get some nighttime cooling, so we’ll just be warmer than usual the rest of the week, not apocalyptically hot.

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  9. Dexter Friend said on June 28, 2021 at 1:55 am

    John Keating, the Tigers’ studio wrap-up man, wryly joked for anyone needing to take I-94 to bring a kayak. Those photos are stunning. I am southwest of Detroit about 2.5 hours away and we got nothing like Detroit and Chicago received. 25 years ago a freakish rainfall left a whole section of town with water up the rooflines, so the city and county dug a strategic drainage ditch and four huge ponds for the run-off. No more flooding at all here.
    The dividing of stuff has hit our family. The 3 daughters want remembrances, but so far only one is coming, and that rankles another one who is afraid her sister is going to take stuff she might want too but she can’t make it to come haul things out of here. And my 29 year old grandson who has struggled mightily but is working a job, steady work, and working a program under supervision to stay straight, found himself homeless as his aunt needed the room he was living in for the aunt’s mother who is moving in. So, yeah, for like the 6th time for this same man, I have a guest who is moving into the spare bedroom. He’s good at house cleaning so this might work out; I was about to find a maid service to come in and clean this place. Now my grandson can do it.

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  10. Peter said on June 28, 2021 at 9:05 am

    We did OK on Saturday’s rain- the nearby expressway flooded again, but if they put those pumps on high that water would have been diverted to my basement.

    Don’t know if it was lighting or strong wind, but a really tall tree across the street was literally split in two – straight down the middle, just like you see on an old cartoon. One end stayed up; the other crashed into two houses and there’s a lot of roof damage.

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  11. ROGirl said on June 28, 2021 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been listening to Joni Mitchell’s Blue album again recently. I got a copy when it came out 50 years ago and still have it (it’s in the basement).

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  12. Deborah said on June 28, 2021 at 9:32 am

    The road crossing through the arroyo in Abiquiu is messed up again from the rain. The arroyo only runs once or twice a year, we all pay to have it patched up each time it happens. Some of the homeowners, including us want to return it more to its natural state. About 10 years ago a creepy developer from Texas bought some property in the area, built a few spec houses with plans to build more. Without telling or asking anyone he had a causeway built over the arroyo. We were all furious but we gave it 5 years before the water running through the arroyo would blow it out. It lasted only 3 years and left a mess. The material that is left over from the causeway has narrowed the arroyo at the point where the crossing is and makes the water more turbulent there which causes the crossing to blow out. We want to gradually widen the arroyo at the road and get it back to it’s pre-causeway state. Of course some of the neighbors don’t want to pay for that making it cost more for the ones of us willing to pay. It only takes a few bad apples to make it painful for the rest. As I’ve said we have a condo owner in our building in Santa Fe who’s making it hard on the rest of us. Why do people have to be that way?

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  13. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2021 at 9:43 am

    Speaking of natural state, there are guys behind our apartment who are cutting down brush trees and throwing them into the ravine and creek, which is illegal in Indiana. (Incredibly, there is some pollution that is illegal here, because we’re a “business friendly” state.)

    I’m incensed and have been trying to get a picture. D called the owners but only got voicemail. I know that birds built their nests there and I’m in tears about that, and the loss of habitat.

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  14. basset said on June 28, 2021 at 9:47 am

    Mrs. B and I went to our first post-covid baseball game last night, Nashville Sounds vs. Charlotte – these are high minor-league teams, the players and the concessions are just short of the big leagues. Nine dollars for a can of beer and four for a bottle of water.

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  15. Jeff Borden said on June 28, 2021 at 10:39 am

    I treated my wife yesterday to the immersive Van Gogh presentation and dinner at the little French restaurant in Lincoln Square for her birthday. The bill for our meal was a little less than what I spent on three beers and a couple of brats with sauerkraut at Sox Park a few weeks ago. I’m sorry to hear the minor leagues are charging major league prices for ballpark fare.

    Our house was built around 1905 and has a brick foundation. (When they built the McMansion next door, contractors drove steel plates into the ground between our properties (the lots are only 25-ft. by 125-ft.) to keep it from crumbing into the huge basement they dug out for the large house. We’ve had seepage issues before, but most of them were solved by sealing around the foundation. But there’s always a leak at the rear of the house I cannot find. Generally, we take water when a heavy snow melt has occurred. We also were lucky this weekend.

    It’s likely we’ll all see more floods, more crumbling buildings and general deterioration because our nation stopped taking care of infrastructure four decades ago and the bill is coming due. Climate change will make it all worse.

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  16. Deborah said on June 28, 2021 at 11:20 am

    For those of you experiencing incredible high temps, did you know there’s a thing out there called a cooling vest? I had no idea, just found out while reading Twitter. Some use cold water, some have pockets for ice packs. They can last 5 or 6 hours and can keep you cool through the hottest part of the day. If you don’t have AC and are older, this can be a life saver. There are also DIY sites on how to make your own.

    Jeff B, you are so right that more crumbling buildings are in our future if we don’t curtail climate change. It’s inevitable. What a depressing future.

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  17. alex said on June 28, 2021 at 12:26 pm

    Julie, are you sure those guys aren’t authorized to be there? I have some friends in Lincoln Village/Beckett’s Run who were appalled a few years ago when the county sent in people to clear-cut a huge swath of woods surrounding a creek. They complained but were informed that keeping waterways free from potential debris was a bigger priority than protecting natural scenery and wildlife, never mind that the creek had done just fine for centuries until some senseless bureaucrat decided to go all Mr. T on it.

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  18. LAMary said on June 28, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    Julie, I think I’ve mentioned my son has a job (until the end of July when he becomes merch roadie man again) clearing brush and trash from the LA River. His crew is randomly, frequently, checked by a biologist making sure they are not disturbing nesting birds. They also have to pack up and haul away all the stuff they cut. Last week they were near a huge McMansiony sort of place and there was gardening crew working in the yard. They were taking down a eucalyptus tree and tossing the branches into the river. I’m sure at least part of the large bill for taking down that tree was for hauling it away. I had one of those monster bills last year. Instead they were tossing it in the river, messing up the river and leaving it for a bunch of guys on an Army Corps of Engineers contract to clean up. Didn’t happen. My son’s crew tossed all the damn branches back into the guy’s yard. Took phone videos of the whole thing. Told their boss. Do not mess with a bunch of guys hip deep in stinky water, working for just a little over minimum wage.

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  19. Julie Robinson said on June 28, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    These are the lawn guys the landlord uses, and they are clearing brush above the ravine and tossing it down in, which is illegal dumping according to Indiana.gov. They are also spraying toxic weed killer all over, including the marigolds I planted next to the driveway where grass won’t grow. I’m not even going to be here. I was trying to make it nice for the next tenant and the other people who live here. Every single conversation with fellow tenants, they tell me how much they enjoyed my flowers. It just makes me mad.

    It’s awful how expensive taking down trees is. Even trimming them, if they’re tall. We have to do it every year in Orlando before hurricane season. Which means now.

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  20. LAMary said on June 28, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    Last year mine cost about two grand to remove a big Deodar cedar. That was after I told them I was paying cash. It was about 25% more before I said that. I wasn’t actually telling them that because I wanted a break. My son had taken that money out of his account to pay for the tree. He owed me a few months of car insurance, phone bill and other expenses so paying for the tree removal made us even.

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  21. Bob (not Greene) said on June 28, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    One of my sons is on a National Forest Service wildfire crew that is stationed outside of Seattle, but who for the past two weeks has been in southwest New Mexico in the Gila National Forest, where they’ve been kind of held in reserve, doing scouting, on lightning lookout and so on, because there’s a very large wildfire there that they’re sort of leaving alone, since it’s so remote.

    It’s been hot and dry there but in the past couple of days has seen some rain, so they are headed back up north soon.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2021 at 5:08 pm

    Bless your son, Bob: that’s some of the hardest work there is. I’d drop dead in an hour doing what they do for twelve hours at a time, and half their paycheck redeemable only in sunrises & sunsets.

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  23. Deborah said on June 28, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    Bob, if I’m not mistaken that Gila Fire has been ongoing for a long, long time. Good to know it’s being attended regularly. It is indeed very remote, but I feel like I’ve been reading about it for years, maybe it’s something that continually reoccurs because of its location and climate?

    I’ve spent much of my day slaving over the minutes of our last condo association meeting about our window replacement project held via Zoom on Saturday morning. It was super heated, fast and furious, people were talking over each other throughout. I’m trying to be as accurate as possible, without bias in the way I report who said what when. Obviously I have some bias because there is one person who is being untruthful (lying), inaccurate, slurring and contentious and emotionally grandstanding to bully and manipulate (remind you of anyone?). I don’t know how you journalist out there do it, I’m completely in over my head in this endeavor and I bow down to you who have had to record in your own words what happens at any event. This document might end up being something that has legal implications so I’m trying to be as careful as possible, but it’s daunting. How do you guys do it?

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  24. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on June 28, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Gahhhh, I hate doing minutes. As a known scribbler, I get asked to do them at many of the meetings I’m part of, and I try to weasel out as often as I can, but too often there’s no one else with pen and paper or laptop and I get stuck with it. But that’s the most unrewarding, fraught with peril, soul sucking writing there is (next to doing obituaries for currently serving politicians).

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  25. Sherri said on June 29, 2021 at 12:30 am

    Seattle topped out at 108 today, and that should be the end. We’ll merely be in the low 90s tomorrow, and then in the 80s. Still unusually warm for this time of year, but at least it shouldn’t buckle roads.

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  26. susan said on June 29, 2021 at 12:58 am

    Deborah, if you have a smart-phone, it should have an app called “Voice Memo” (on an iPhone). Use that to record the meetings, and then you can transcribe it. That’s as accurate as one could be. I use that app every time I go to the doctor. (I always ask first, though. I’ve only had one creepy surgeon deny me recording.)

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  27. Dorothy said on June 29, 2021 at 7:05 am

    About a month ago I had to take notes during a faculty meeting via Zoom. This was a responsibility of one of my fellow admins but she resigned last August. (Didn’t want to take a chance on bringing any Covid into her house where her 85 year old mom lives with her.) Anyway, during some breakout sessions in the Zoom, there were some remarks being made about my boss that probably should not have been said and I was typing furiously, trying to record what was being discussed. But I stopped and said ‘I take it you don’t want me to include that part in my notes’ and they suddenly remembered I was there. The answer was ‘no’ of course. I didn’t really like being in that position.

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  28. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 7:58 am

    Susan, that’s good to know. However we decided to record all of our meetings now via Zoom. Since not all of the owners live in Santa Fe, the meetings have all been through Zoom for the last couple of years, or since we bought our Unit anyway. We haven’t recorded them before but since the one owner went apeshit during the latest meeting we feel the need to tamp her bad behavior down and maybe if she knows it is being legally recorded she will cooperate more. Zoom announces when you are being recorded so it’s on the up and up.

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  29. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 8:11 am

    It is gloriously raining again in Santa Fe, this is the third day in a row we’ve had rain. I can hear the plants sighing with relief. The high temps have been in the mid 60s. Yay.

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  30. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2021 at 8:24 am

    Being a recording secretary is the most thankless job ever. For me, I can’t participate in the meeting as a member when I’m trying to catch all the details, and who made which motion. Usually I volunteer to be treasurer instead, because I’m good at that.

    Today is move day. I’ve lived here almost 42 years, good and bad, and now it’s time for new adventures.

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  31. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 8:41 am

    How exciting Julie, off you go! Hope it all works out in every aspect.

    I could never be treasurer of anything. I’m positively horrible with finances.

    This is scary, but fascinating and I think spot on https://www.vox.com/recode/2021/6/26/22550981/carl-bergstrom-joe-bak-coleman-biologists-ecologists-social-media-risk-humanity-research-academics

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  32. Suzanne said on June 29, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    I am in a woman’s club and we are elected for different offices every year. I was elected treasurer once and absolutely refused the office. I’ve been secretary more than once and don’t mind it at all, except when I can’t read my own writing of the notes I took. One woman has been treasurer for many years because no one else wants to do it. She was secretary once, she told me, and would type up the minutes as soon as she got home from the meeting, even if it was very late, because writing is so stressful.
    Thank goodness our minds don’t all think alike, I guess.

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  33. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 4:03 pm

    In our condo association I am also the building and grounds maintenance “officer” besides being the secretary. This has turned into a completely stressful position to be in. I turned over the coordination of the window replacement project to my husband, because as an architect he knows way more about it than I do. Plus he’s much better at dealing with the owner who goes apeshit and yells and screams until she gets it her way. My husband is much better at remaining calm yet strong in describing the reality of the situation. I can’t do that, I fall apart. During our contentious Zoom meeting I had to move out of the picture, still engaged in the meeting but I was shaking, my mouth got super dry, I got some water and while trying to drink it my hands were shaking visibly. It was really unsettling. My husband stayed calm and focused on the subject at hand instead of getting caught up in the explosive emotion of the moment.

    I found myself in this maintenance position because LB and I basically, physically do most of the maintenance at least as they pertain to the grounds and we are watchful when we see things that need repair and report them. No one else does this. Some of the owners live in other states, but so do I half the time. 2 of the owners have a management service take care of issues requiring maintenance inside their units, but have nothing to do with the grounds. I started doing this stuff because the place had a lot of potential that I could see and I enjoyed the work outside, gardening, weeding, building trellises, sweeping, raking etc etc etc. And the physical labor was a great way to get exercise and keep my brain occupied with planning and creating things, and again as I said to get an opportunity to work outside which I don’t get to do in Chicago. I’ve thought about volunteering at a community garden in Chicago but the months when that takes place there, I’m usually in NM for climate preference reasons. Anyway, this contentious atmosphere now is making me lose my enthusiasm for doing anything around here, especially when it’s not appreciated by the one asshole owner, she takes the joy out of doing it completely. But on the other hand, if we don’t do it, it will go back to being a crumby place to sit outside in. It’s discouraging. The other 3 owners are very appreciative (of course they are, we’re making it a better place for their bottom line) but the bad apple is ruining the whole bunch. This is turning out to be a depressing summer unfortunately. Another thing I’ve been thinking (worrying) about is how litigious the asshole owner is. If there was a storm and a tree landed on her unit she’d probably sue me for not reporting a problem with the tree or something. Really, I’m thinking things like that now.

    It’s a miracle that it has rained this entire day so far, starting at around 4am, not a harsh stormy rain, just a nice gentle soaking, which is so needed. In Abiquiu when there are harsh rain storms there’s a lot of erosion and the water just swoops down the arroyos and the cliffs wrecking everything in it’s way, and doesn’t soak into the land where it’s needed. But this rain is perfect.

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  34. Sherri said on June 29, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    So our apocalyptic heat wave is over here west of the Cascades (though east of the Cascades, temps are still soaring). We’re not going to break 100 again, but we’re far from returning to normal. Forecasted temps remain in the 80s for the indefinite future, some 10 degrees above normal.

    This NYTimes data viz about the PNW heat is quite good: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/06/29/upshot/portland-seattle-vancouver-weather.html

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  35. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Waiting at the airport for a delayed flight. It’s been a s**t show so far. We had all these heavy bags along with a heavier cat. Mom was supposed to be in a wheelchair, cat on lap, me with the rest of the bags. Only, airport extra busy, sorry, no wheelchairs available.

    She can barely walk, I get to carry the cat AND everything else!

    We had called ahead and they told us the cat could go through security in her carrier. They didn’t tell the agent in charge today. It took 10 minutes to get her out of the carrier, then Mother insisted on carrying her through, lost her balance and brushed the side of the gate. Klaxons. Finally she gets through and as we’re waiting for the carrier, Flower drops a nice big soft one. And Mother walks through it.

    So, we’re having some fun here.

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  36. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Oh, so sorry Julie, I know it’s no fun for you and I commiserate with you, but you did make me laugh out loud with your description.

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  37. LAMary said on June 29, 2021 at 5:31 pm

    Julie, I’m sending you a psychic glass of very nice wine, a comfortable seat in a quiet place where you can be alone for a while.

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  38. Julie Robinson said on June 29, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    Where is my damn calming collar?

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  39. Dexter Friend said on June 29, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    Julie Robinson, it’s those damn gremlins at work.

    I got the Honda Odyssey out of the shop after having sensors replaced and all is OK with everything in the van, all mechanical systems A-OK. So to check it out, I drove around for an hour, and damned if that TPMS light didn’t come back on. Yeah, I already paid for the repair. Back to the shop. I decided to fix it once and then if it comes back on after a few weeks I am ignoring it.
    I don’t believe any nallers here have lost a family member to Covid19, so I’ll tell you it is a FEMA disaster, and FEMA is compensating for funeral expenses. And…of course you can guess the paperwork is very, very much a SNAFU first class. They tell me they received my application, but I had claimed I had burial insurance (separate from life insurance), which got me denied. When I called back, they told me they thought State Farm Insurance was a burial insurance company !
    So I had to submit a hand written letter explaining…they told me, a few weeks later, they received it. Today, they said my claim had gotten mixed up with someone else’s claim. I had to start all over.
    They also said they never received any letter. Last Thursday they read the goddam letter back to me.
    Today I wrote another letter and faxed it. I am sure I’ll never get compensated. And the cap is like $9,500, but since we have not had the closure service, I only filed for preliminary costs, just $3,500, and it’s a shame the way this is being handled.

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  40. Deborah said on June 29, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Dexter, such a shame you had to go through the tragedy of losing your wife to Covid, then FEMA makes you hopeful, then dashes those hopes with ineptitude. So sorry, I hope it gets resolved soon.

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