Ghost Hotel and Schmaltzy Albatross

I don’t think anyone living here could possibly have any complaints about today’s weather because it was about as near-perfect as you could get with exception of the cottonwood trees sending out their annoying “cotton” which seems to come floating in out of nowhere. It’s too bad we still have a number of those monsters growing in and around the Downtown, and unfortunately the bulk of our residents don’t even know what they are. Because they grow so tall, I consider them nature’s lightning rods. Back when I was young, one of our neighbors had a monster out in their dooryard which must’ve been struck at least three or four times in a span of ten years until it finally died.

Most of my morning was spent on desk work and accounting, and with it being the tail-end of last month’s record-keeping, I should be good to go for the remainder of the month. I did take a break and call a friend of mine who’d just last night found out that her neighborhood is getting infested with garden snakes, and likely due to a few neighbors who’re not keeping their yards clear of firewood and brush because those things create hiding and nesting places for them. I did tell her about the Ortho snake repellant which has had great reviews. I did mention the fact that I’m not afraid of them, but certainly don’t like being startled when suddenly encountering one.

A young gentleman whom I’ve worked with in the past happened to stop by for a visit, and since I’d not personally seen him in over a year, we ended up having an extended chat over the happenings in our lives. He’s still working for the same company, but fortunately he was able to land a day position which has helped with his over-all metaphysical health. How well I know the effects the come out of working the graveyard shift. At least he managed to survive two full years before going days. He asked my opinion about starting his own business which I bless everyone’s ambition, but I had to offer some cautionary words, just as I’ve done with others. I went on to share with him the names of some recent business closings, which were mostly due to poor planning and management.

Unlike in the past, it seems like many of today’s start-ups are setting themselves up for failure by doing extensive and expensive build-outs because they must be under the impression that once they open their doors, there’ll be lines of customers waiting. Unfortunately it isn’t like that, and when you look more closely at those businesses which’ve survived our economic ups and downs, they’re mostly always those who’ve started out small and gradually expanded as their customer bases increased. I named three businesses that’ve recently opened their doors, and in spite my wishing them the absolute best of success, I can’t help being realistic when saying they’re gonna have some major struggles. And once again, I’m keeping my lips zipped regarding the willful waste that’s taking place with that Mall, the “ghost” hotel and schmaltzy albatross of a Music Man Square.

The highlight of my day was spent over at a clients home who’re getting it prepped for listing. Having worked closely with them in the past, I offered all the suggestions I could for them to make it presentable for the buying public. There’s no question about it selling, but the struggle I was having before walking thru it, was to come up with an asking price, but after getting a really good look at it, I mentioned a number which we all agreed upon, so hopefully next week I’ll have it listed. I was a little concerned when seeing the interest rates had risen a quarter of a percent in less than a week, so let’s hope it slides back down to five once again.

I took the long way back to office, just to get a better look at the homes surrounding our Downtown, and believe me, they’re looking their absolute worst with sagging porches, volunteer trees, weeds and tall grasses. I still can’t believe our City hasn’t tagged those owners by now. They’d better get a handle on it before the RAGBRAI crowd arrives because there’ll be some long-lasting bad impressions created. As I’ve said for years, “First impressions are the most lasting.”, which should be the signal for everyone to get their acts cleaned up.

It was a happy day for a couple who’ve been looking for a rental these past weeks because as chance would have it, I was given notice on one I knew would be a great fit for them, so I emailed them early this morning, and by the time Noon arrived I received a message back saying, “We’ll take it.” There’s no question it was a fortuitous happening. Because I personally know them, I have no doubt they’ll be good tenants.

Because I had some “inside” banking to do over at First Citizen’s Downtown office, I was in near shock when seeing nearly all the tellers being new-hires. I was being a little wicked when saying they’re now getting about as slow as their competitor which got their attention. I know it takes time to get accustomed to being a teller, but unfortunately it causes bottlenecks at their drive-thru. The one that recently left for a career change, will be greatly missed by me because she was the most kind and thoughtful teller I’ve dealt with in years. Such characters need to be cloned and spread all over North Iowa.

Of course before heading home, I had to check and see what’s been happening in Ukraine. I was glad to hear the Ukrainian army is holding their ground in some areas while making advances with their pushing-back. What really angers me, is Putin’s refusal to remove his naval blockade so the Ukrainians can export their grain. Yes, Putin is a psychological clone of Stalin because that’s what he did to the Ukrainians by intentionally starving millions of them to death. Yes, history is now repeating itself.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Thought takes one out of servitude and into freedom.

Joe Chodur

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