Online Hose Suppliers or Snake Oil Salesmen?

Kip commented on my last post about Online Hose Suppliers and he cautioned me to be very careful.  His comments were valid and my responses lengthy enough that I figured they’d make a decent little post on their own. 

Here is what Kip said in his comment on my last post:

Be wary of would-be hose suppliers who promise the moon; they tend to be in the same class as snake oil salesmen. And let’s face it, they can tell you anything and show you any kind of pictures they want on the internet. There are some things you just shouldn’t purchase online, and this is one of them. You need to see that hose in the flesh and hold it in your hand, make sure it connects properly and produces a healthy flow when turned on. As they say: think globally but act locally! The hose you need may be in your own backyard. So get out there and find it: examine it well, hook it up and turn it on! Don’t despair that you haven’t found it yet. If you have faith in it, it will come!

 And, now my response:

I’m not certain that purchasing something like this online is necessarily a bad deal, though it would require certain additional considerations and many, many precautions.  I would never purchase a hose sight unseen.  I would insist on the opportunity to see the hose, hold the hose and try all the appropriate functions to ensure the hose and my pump fit well together.

 If the hose I needed were in my own backyard, I’d be happily swimming in my blissful pool rather than looking for a quality hose!  I can assure you that there really are no quality hose suppliers in my area and I’ve been diligent in seeking them out.  You see the emphasis here is on quality.  I believe the inner construction and the make up of the hose will determine its usefulness and effectiveness in working with my pump over the long haul.  Most hose dealers are supplying hoses that are poorly constructed, made of weak or brittle materials, not long enough or are simply not the right kind of hose for the job.  After all, if I’m looking for a hose to attach my pool to my pump, I’m not going to use a garden hose.  Garden hoses are not bad and they definitely serve their purpose, but it simply isn’t the kind of hose I’m looking for.  Further, you’d be surprised to find out how many local suppliers post a picture of a hose that looks serviceable but then when I go to visit them to see the hose, they present me with a worn, damaged, dirty and defective item.  It is disappointing, tiring and I’m not wasting time with any of that!  So, I continue on with my search for the best hose for my pump.

 As for the getting out there and finding it?  Well, I’ve worked tirelessly at this project for some time now.  I’m quite willing to do the legwork required to examine the hoses thoroughly, hook them up, and turn them on.  It is upon closer examination (before even hooking up)  that I usually find defects, flaws, ways that the hose would be incompatible with my pump.  When these concerns in hose viability arise, it seems foolish for me to go the next step of hooking up the hose and turning it on.  Why waste my time trying to make a hose work when it isn’t a good hose or the right hose?  No, I need to be able to see that the hose is the right hose before the hook up and turning on.  Once I take that hose home, I can’t expect it to become a different hose.  I can’t just see a brand new hose, hook it up and turn it on and hope it works. I just don’t shop that way.  I prefer to do my research on each hose carefully and thoughtfully first.  Salesmen hate me because I ask a lot of questions and can determine fairly quickly where the inconsistencies lie and where the defects in the hose will be.  When I do find that special hose, then and only then will I consider hooking it up and turning it on.  After all, not just any hose will do for my pump.  I want the best hose!  I’m willing to pay well for it, travel the earth shopping for it, and when I get it home I will care for and maintain it well because I really hate hose shopping.

Online Hose Suppliers

This transition from Spring to Summer has already been an interesting one.  I do have the pool operating a month earlier, in spite of the fact that I had several setbacks with sanitation, pumps, filters and faulty defective hoses.  That is now in the past and I currently have a terrific hose that seems to be working quite well for now.  But I never want to go through that experience again, so I’ve set about searching for a hose supplier who will keep me stocked up on the perfect hose.  Since there are no quality hose suppliers in my area, I’ve had to look for suppliers on the internet. Of course, when you do this online thing, it is always important to introduce yourself, state what you are looking for and what needs you hope the sought after item will meet.  I followed all these protocols perfectly and have been flooded with many interesting responses.  Most of them fakes, as they were exaggerating about the length, width, quality, durability and flexibility of their hoses.  In addition, they were charging far too much for the very minimal and routine functions the hoses were capable of.  I decided not to settle, since dealing with my current (make do) hose is working better than I think any of those hoses would work.  However, I would like a real hose with a longer warranty than the one I am currently using.

Something very interesting entered my inbox this afternoon.  Here is the note from the latest would be hose supplier:

Dear Ms. Wild Mind,

Further to your comments regarding hoses. I am pleased to report that one of the hoses in question has been tested and found to be functioning to the standard you require.

This type of hose requires constant care and attention. May I suggest that you adopt a regimen of ongoing maintenance even when you are not using the equipment. There are several products readily available which, when regularly applied, will ensure that the hose remains useable over an extended period and will delay the inevitable withering and consequent perishing.

Respectfully,

The Last Hose Supplier You’ll Ever Need

This seemed very interesting to me, so I responded with the following:

Dear Mr. Last,

I am very interested in learning more about your hose.  I would be especially interested in the regimen of maintenance you suggest as well as the products you supply to prevent the inevitable withering and perishing of the hose.  I am unavailable to discuss this now, but would be willing to discuss this at length later this evening should you so desire.  Of course, before purchase, I am wondering if there is an opportunity to discover exactly the functionality of the hose in question.  My last hose was guaranteed to last a lifetime and began faltering in its performance in less than six months in spite of excellent care, maintenance and frequent use. As the result of this experience, I want to be very certain what it is I am purchasing, as you can well understand, I am sure. I am certainly willing to invest should I find that one amazing hose.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Respectfully,

Ms. Wild Mind

P.S. I am also well aware that every hose comes with a price tag.  I think it would be important to discuss the various costs of purchasing the hose earlier rather than later.  I would, of course, be interested in discussing sales price, taxes, shipping and handling fees and, of course, since we are dealing with an international transaction here, whether any customs costs or import/export fees exist. 

P.P.S.  I am perfectly able and more than willing to pay whatever rate is required for a hose of the type and quality I seek.  As you know many online hose suppliers are frauds and I would like every opportunity to discern that your hose is exactly as you say before signing a purchase agreement.

Hmmm, it will be interesting to see how this transaction turns out.

Worthless Hose!!!!

The Old Worthless Hose
The Old Worthless Hose

Just as I predicted in my last post, that worthless old hose gave way today. When I drove in the driveway after an errand tonight, I was anticipating a fun frolic in my backyard pool.  Instead, I noticed a flood of water streaming down the neighbor’s driveway.  I knew it had to be hose failure on my filter since the neighbors do not water their lawn. 

There is nothing so frustrating, disappointing and infuriating as hose failure at a time when you are so anticipating and relying upon the pleasure that hose will bring if it actually does what it is designed to do.  But timing is everything!  My hose failed just as I was anticipating a lovely evening swim.  The filter now cannot do it’s job properly and the pool has lost 4 inches of water in just a few moments. 

The New Longer Flexible Hose!  Ahhh!
The New Longer Flexible Hose! Ahhh!

The hose spurted water in every direction completely flooding an entire area of my yard and my neighbor’s yard.  I did not receive the relaxing, enjoyable experience of activity in my pool.  Instead, I had to wait. 

Now I am tense, crabby, irritated and actively searching for a longer flexible new hose!  Breaking off and spilling out so do not work for me!

Summer Preparations–Lessons Learned

filter9The Wild Mind has been busy the last four days working on getting ready for summer.  This readiness involves dealing with the contraption you see here.  No, it is not the latest model sex toy (wait, maybe it could be with just a little improvisation).This is a pool filter.  It connects to the pool by various hoses similar to the one you see in the picture.  There is a hose for outgoing water and a hose that takes in water from the pool to be filtered.  My contraption is old.  The hoses have not been replaced since I purchased the thing.  The contraption and it’s hoses get a great deal of use too, so it is critical that everything is in proper working order.  This morning (at times I can be a morning person) when I hooked up the contraption to the pool the hose that connects the skimmer to the pool kept breaking off.  In fact, it broke off so many times that by the time I actually started the pump up, it burst again, dousing me.  It was now too short to do it’s job properly.  There is also another hose on this contraption (wouldn’t you like to have two hoses for just such an emergency?). This second hose connects the pool to the filter (that big bulbous part of the contraption) .  This hose was far longer and more flexible than the hose that was splitting and breaking off.  I switched the hoses, the pump works beautifully, however that old hose is still an old hose and will within a very short time begin cracking and breaking off from the pool again.  This old hose segment needs to be replaced soon.

Six lessons learned for The Wild Mind: (no, I did not say “Sex Lessons Learned by The Wild Mind! Sheesh!)

1.  Old hoses will eventually need to be replaced when they are unable to perform the task they were designed for.

2.  Old hoses that remain long and flexible are far more useful for a far longer period of time.

3.  Old hoses that break off and become too short are worthless.

4. Hoses that spray stuff everywhere except the appropriate destination are annoying!

5.  Maybe there are times when having a spare hose around is a good thing?

6.  The Wild Mind really, seriously needs a new hose!  (Wait, I think anyone who’s been reading this blog for any length of time has already figured that out!)

Now where to find a decent, lengthy, flexible hose that will go the distance even after a tremendous amount of use?  Hmmmm.

What Type Of Mr. Right?

lunchI was out with a friend the other day for lunch.  She was sharing pictures of the home she and her husband just purchased and are fixing up.  As she showed me the pictures on her iPhone, I was impressed with the before and after scenes and how much work they’ve done in such a short time.  When I questioned her about how she and her husband accomplished it all, I received a wonderful loving description of her husband and all the things he did seemingly effortlessly on this home.  She concluded her praise of him with the words, “He totally puts Husband For Hire to shame!”  I thought this was especially touching since these two are past the honeymoon stage, have been together over 7 years, and are very much still “in love”. 

 Her words got me thinking.

First, the relationship she has with her husband is a rare thing.  In many ways, what she and her husband model for me (generally, not necessarily specifically) what I hope to have.  The key thing they share is a deep, abiding, mutual admiration and respect and love for each other.  They also both have their independent lives. 

Further, as a single mom who has no skills in home repair and who has no money to hire it done, I know how valuable a man with home repair skills is.  I also realize that there are many valuable ways people can contribute to a significant relationship. I was originally going to title this post “Two Kinds of Men” because I was thinking of the handyman and the guy who is not handy, but the more I considered the topic the more I realized there are more than just two kinds of men and far more than two ways to contribute to a relationship.  For fun, I came up with a few categories using broad brush strokes, I admit, that men can fall into.  You may be able to think of more.  In fact, I hope you do.  Leave your ideas in a comment or write your own post and link to me. That would be great fun!   Don’t worry, peeps.  I am working on a post about different types of women too,  but since men interest me more than women do, it was easier to start here.  ;)Enjoy!

therepairman 1.  The Handy Man.  This guy can fix, build or renovate anything.  You’ll never need to hire a repairman because even if you did The Handy Man could do it better and for less.  He has all the tools and knows how to use them.  If you find a guy like this, you’ll be able to have the home improvement jobs completed to your specifications every time.  You might have to get used to some unfinished projects around the house as the norm rather than the exception. This kind of guy is amazing and if you find yourself with someone like this, spoil him immensely.  He will build you a mansion of love from his own bare hands.

The Manager 2.  The Manager.  This guy isn’t handy, but he isn’t okay with things being in disrepair either.  He’s a conscientious sort who is willing to part with some money on occasion to make sure everything is looking great and in perfect working condition.  He makes enough money to be able to pay to put in that slider out the master bedroom onto that redwood deck with a pergola and a hot tub which he also paid to have done. He is too busy making money so he can keep his love and his family in the manner in which he is proud to keep them.  While he won’t hang the Christmas tree lights, he won’t leave it to his wife to do it.  He’ll hire the Christmas Tree Light Hanger Person to come and make sure that every little light is perfectly spaced and straight and lit. If you find yourself with a guy like this, you are just as fortunate as if you were with The Handy Man.  Guy Who Can Hire It Done is so responsible that he won’t let you down.  He’s so detail oriented that he won’t let whoever he hires get by with doing a sloppy job.  If you are with him, spoil him.  He is proud of what he can give and do for you and the family.  Appreciate it all and it will come back to you in spades or probably diamonds.

Wayne's World 3.  The Non Man.  The Non Man cannot do home repairs, he doesn’t make enough to make sure that the repairs are kept up around the house by a repairman and he doesn’t care. He’s a fun person, lives for the moment and could care less about responsibility. He’s great in bed, keeps his body in shape and looks and acts eternally 35 even though he may have left his 50’s behind long ago. If he has a job, it’s his 15th one in the last three years. He leaves all the heavy serious stuff of finances, home repair, cooking, laundry and yard work to his significant other or his mother to deal with, stress about and lose her health over. After all, he has to play World of Warcraft. If  you meet this man, move on quickly.  The sex will be great, but the rest of the time you’ll just be babysitting.

personal_chef 4.  The Chef.  Highly sought after by career women these days, this guy is just a bit overrated. This kind of guy probably gets invited to a lot of potlucks and has a lot of friends due to his culinary skills, however, cooking a great meal every night is not as useful a skill as being good at the home repairs.  After all, and I do speak from experience here, screwing up a really good meal is far easier to recover from financially than replacing that wall that was supposed to be a weight bearing wall and should never have been removed in the first place.  So, if all he brings to the table are his culinary skills, maybe you should look further.

The Partner5.  The Partner.  This man is golden.  He’s also a rare find. He is intelligent, capable, resourceful, has good table manners and uses good grammar when speaking and writing.  He’s smart enough to know not to belch at the dinner table, knows which fork to use in a nice restaurant and leaves the seat down for The Other Partner.  He’s a fully vested partner in the firm called Relationship. He doesn’t shirk responsibility, he has people skills, knows how to negotiate the differences in order to reach conclusions that work in the best interests of the other Partner and stakeholders in The Firm.  If he can’t fix it himself, he knows just the right person for the job and will make sure it gets done. He does what he says he will do and doesn’t make commitments he can’t keep.  He’s confident, not needy, won’t play games but will tell you exactly where he stands. When in corporate meetings he doesn’t seek to force his views or goals on others, but instead seeks to influence or persuade while fully allowing the other parties to make their own choices even though he might be very passionate about his own perspectives. He provides information and options instead of coercing. The Partner, while, intelligent, confident and capable, realizes that The Firm he is vested in is a collaborative team venture and not a top down organization where all the decisions run through the senior partner without consideration of the other entities involved.  He works hard and is fully committed to his own success as well as the success of The Firm and others he partners with.  He’s not a workaholic but recognizes that in order to be the best Partner he can be, he must take care of himself too. If you are fortunate enough to find yourself as a Partner in a Firm with a man like this stay with the Firm and work collaboratively with this man and you’ll be golden too!

Texts From The Morning After—The Saturday Morning Live Edition

Text conversation this morning from a friend who recently got stillettoed by the latest love of his life and spent last night drinking to get her off his mind:

Him:  Drinking Stillettos off my mind worked last night. I went 0-4 picking up on women.  Seems everyone has a b/f or two.  But the headache is great.  Did you find $20 in your underwear this morning?  I did.

Me: Really?  Wow!  You must have been firefighting last night.  Whose fire I wonder?

Him:  I don’t know. And no strangers in my bed this morning.  Can’t find my keys.  Can’t find my work badge.

Me:  Geez!  Do you still have your truck and hoses?

Him:  Let me check.

Him:  Dammit.  The truck is gone!

Me:  Holy Shit!  There is a great big massive RED truck parked out front of my house.  You should see the hoses on this thing!

Him:  That truck gets around.

Me:  Yeah, it looks pretty broke in.

Him:  Hey!  The truck gets polished up. 😉

Me:  Polished, yeah, but these hoses are in sad shape! Ooops!  The horn works.

Him: Those hoses will get the job done.  Don’t you worry girl.

Me:  Hmmm, no firemen on board, so it’s not looking good.

Him:  They don’t know where the truck is either.

Me:  That’s too bad.  I’m such a morning person too.  Dammit!

Hmmm, seems someone has a fire truck fixation going.  Ah, well, might be better than that chicken issue a while back.

Reasons Why I Never Responded To You On That Online Dating Site

computergivesflowersThese are some of the most common reasons I don’t respond to men on an online dating site.  I can’t speak for other women, and I’ll willingly and gladly admit that I’m one-of-a-kind and not like other women so it wouldn’t matter anyway. These are my thoughts and mine alone.

1.  You only winked at me.  Seriously?  If that’s all the more effort you can expend even after my profile specifically stated that I dont’ respond to winks, you just told me you didn’t read my profile and all I have to say to that is “Next!”

2.  You emailed me and this is what you said, “Hey, liked your profile.  I was wondering if you’d like to chat.”   Hell, no!  I am not on this site to “chat”.  I am not on this site to waste my time. I am not on this site to respond to any cut and pasted messages that you sent to a thousand other women.  I am on this site to increase the odds that I will meet a man who actually has the same ideas about life and relationship that I do so that I can date him and become seriously involved with him with the hopes of building a fulfilling life and future together.  After all, this is hopefully going to be the man that breaks my heart when I have to bury him because we loved each other so deeply (or whose heart is broken because he has to bury me).  Chatting is beneath my dignity…and beneath the dignity of anyone  who seriously merits my attention.  (Now some ribald, tawdry fun on occasion is not out of the question, but you have to be amazing to make that work in the very first email, if you are and you do, you’re golden!)

3.  You told me you loved my picture but said nothing more.  Really, now.  What am I supposed to do with that?  Ask you out?  Sorry, big guy.  That’s your job. About all you’ll get from me on that one is, “Thanks for the kind words.  Good luck on your search.”  And, yes, I cut and pasted it for you and about 50 other guys tonight.

4.  You told me your whole life story in the first email.  So, what’s there to discover now? Next!

5.  You disclosed to me that you beat your last wife, or that you beat your ex’s boyfriend up and did 5 months in jail for that little expression of emotion.  I’m looking to eliminate unnecessary drama from my life, not invite it in.

6.  You had no picture on your profile.  While I’m such a Beauty and the Beast kind of girl, I am also savvy enough about digital realities to know that you can say anythng you want without a picture.  I also know that with a picture you can still be lying.  I don’t deal without a picture and I have my ways of discerning if you are lying to me with that picture or not.  A huge part of relationship is chemistry whether you want to admit it or not and, yes, you have to look good to me.  You expect that I will look good to you or you wouldn’t have contacted me. After all, I did post an accurate and recent picture of myself.  If you can’t do,at least that, I’m not wasting my time with you.

7.  Your username was stupid.  Really.  How smart is it to put up a user like “sexyfun1foru” when you are 5’2 and 300 pounds?  Remember, you are contacting a woman who is 5’6″ in bare feet.  Add the stillettos and I’m an easy 5’9″.  Are you really going to be able to be someone I can look up to?  Seriously…there are many lovely women in the 5′ range.  Hunt them. I just can’t do someone who is shorter than my own son. Also,  I’m sure you are a dynamo in bed but I would have downplayed those sexual strengths and focused on the inner person with your username.  Kinda makes me think you’re just out for a one night romp.

8.  You asked, “So, how’s the online scene working for you?”  That’s an instant dealbreaker.  It’s working WAY better for me than most, but that’s none of your freaking business so don’t ask.

9.  Your first email and your profile for that matter was all about you.  You didn’t ask any questions about me nor did you give me anything I could respond to beyond, “Oh that’s interesting.”  I’m really not that into becoming someone’s groupie.  I want a “relationship”, a partnership, a collaborative effort involving more than just one person. There are many out there who are willing to sign on as your fan club groupie, just because you look nice, have a job and have all the necessary body parts.  Go have fun with them.  I want something more.

10.  You gave me your number and expected me to call you.  Dude, let’s project that out ten years from now and we’re married.  Translation: if I do it all now to get the relationship started…I’m going to be the only one doing anything to keep it together.  Dealbreaker.  No time to waste going down that lonely road.  I want better than that.  Next!

11.  You emailed me but didn’t close the deal.  I really find it so interesting that really successful competent men can work overtime getting to know a company inside and out. They learn everything about the organization so that when they do get that one shot to sell themselves to the company of their dreams they can impress those interviewing them and they can negotiate the best deal for them and the company they are interviewing with.  They actually present themselves to their future employer by detailing how their strengths and experiences can benefit the company.  Then they go a step further and ask for the job.  They follow up the interview with thank-you notes of appreciation and they continue to relentlessly but diplomatically follow up until they know they’ve got the job or they’ve been eliminated.  Men, do not operate this way with women.  With women and online dating, it seems that men more often fill out the application (put up a profile)  and apply for the job( make an intial contact or two), but then they expect the employer (the woman) to go chasing them down to offer them a job (he leaves his number but she has to do all the work to get the thing rolling) .  Or, he contacts her and makes small talk but never gets around to asking her out or making arrangements to meet her.  What is up with that?

And that’s just the first 11 reasons!

What Begins With “F” And Ends With “uck”?

The answer is, of course, “Fire Truck”! 

Remember back a few posts when we were talking about tools, boxes and “a man and his tools”?  I’ve come across a new kind of tool box.  This one is the tool box of all tool boxes and it is so portable!  Look!  Here it is:

firetrucks2

The trusty fire truck!  Now, you might not be aware of this, unless you are a firefighter, but a fire truck is really just a big tool box on wheels. 

Visual Dictionary Online explains a fire truck as  a motor vehicle “designed to transport fire-fighting personnel and materials and to supply water to the fire hose nozzles”.  Hmmmm, sounds interesting to me.

The fire truck then is a tool box filled with hoses and the personnel to operate the hoses (aka, hosers). 

However, while every one states that the fire truck is specifically designed to put out fires, I certainly believe that if given half a chance the fire truck could also be useful in starting a certain number of fires as well. 

Let’s take a closer look.

fire-trucks_1

I mean, this is just too good to be true!  What other tool box do you know of  that comes with its own “pumper”?  There are even “grab handles”, and a “deluge gun”.  Seriously, depending upon how big the deluge and where the grab handles are, things could get really exciting!  Seriously?  Flames are burning hotter with thoughts of all the uses for such a fantastic tool box on wheels.

Don’t stop there did you notice all the bonus toys?  There is a control panel, not one, but two “hydrant intakes”, and a “rear step” as well as the regular “storage compartment”.  And, of course, dont’ forget what the fire truck is most popular for…

hoses

The hoses!  Think of all the fun that could be had, girls, if you had your own fire truck stocked with these hoses! 

Ahhhh, but the fun doesn’t stop there.  The fire truck is the only tool box I know that comes fully equipped with live beings to man the hoses!  And, yes, most of of them are just down right amazing to look at let alone to observe in action when they arrive on the scene to put out your personal fire.   And, ladies, have you noticed how they usually work in pairs????

ffightersinactionworking in pairs

Seriously?  I think the fire truck is the ideal tool box for any hot flash, personal raging fire you might encounter. 

 

Disclaimer:  Absolutely no disrespect is meant to any one who is a firefighter or works in such a valuable capacity.  I think our firefight fighter and law enforcement officials are very valuable.  I do not intend to in any way denigrate what you to do keep us safe and alive.  This was all just good natured tawdry fun with no malicious intent whatsoever.

Dream Journals

Some people keep a dream journal.  I am not one of those people.  dreamjnlpicHere’s why:

Have you ever had one of those dreams where your first thoughts upon waking were, “I’m sooooo NOT telling ANYONE about THAT dream!” 

Then the next thought is, “Why did I dream about THAT with HIM (or her,  if you are a guy)?”

The third thing you think is…?

Yeah, that’s about all I’m going to say about that!