Monday, May 16, 2016

The One About the Trees In My Front Yard

First, a word of caution:

This is Julie Luck, anchorperson for WFMY News 2 in Greensboro NC. The views expressed in today's post do not reflect the views of Ms. Luck, WMFY News 2 or Greensboro NC. 

In fact, I as the writer of this post disavow any association with the views expressed here today.   

Now let's get on with this thing.

There's less tree in the front of the Fortress of Ineptitude. There were two trees in our front lawn and now there are still two trees in our front lawn, just significantly less of them. 

When I became (quite reluctantly) a home owner, I knew I would have to mow the lawn and trim the hedges but tree maintenance was never on my agenda. Trees are trees. Trees take care of themselves. Before there were houses here, there were trees. If we all moved away and our houses all crumbled to ruin, the trees will come again. 

But apparently, trees living side by side with humans do require care. For starters, left unchecked, trees grow too big. Now I really didn't see this a disadvantage. A bigger tree means its harder to see the Fortress. But a too big tree spreads out its roots which can cause all sorts of problems with landscaping and house foundations. The tree becomes too top heavy which increases risks for property damage as a result of summer and winter storms. Also when a tree gets too big, it makes way too much noise when it says, "I am Groot!"  

I was not unaware that I needed to deal with my trees but as I've noted before on this blog, I often find myself paralyzed in making a decision of this type. I want to be sure I get the right people for the job. I don't want to pay too much. I want to be sure I'm treated fairly.  There's a lot of thought that goes into dealing with issues like that. 

Or I can hire the first tree cutting guys who rang my doorbell Saturday morning. 

Which is what I did.  

Various tree cutting and landscaping people have been by before including the very crew that came by Saturday. Each time I've looked at my trees in dire need of attention and then look to the people in front on me offering to help give them that attention. Then I would have a flashfoward to the future. 

"This is Julie Luck with News 2 speaking with local homeowner and all around idiot David Long who actually hired the WieSuk Tree Service. Now you hired them to trim the trees, Mr. Idiot?"

"Er, it's Long actually although you can call me David if you want, Julie..."

<Wife Andrea loudly clears throat>

"Uh, Idiot is just fine. Er, yes, I did." 

"And now there's a big gaping hole in the ground."

"Yes, ma'am."

"That has eaten your front lawn... and your house..."

"Yes, ma'am." 

"And the lawns and houses of your neighbors." 

(Off camera) "YOU SUCK, LONG!" 

"Did you not check out this WieSuk Tree Service before hiring them?" 

"Well, yes, I did." 

"How did you do that? Did you go online? Seek out references?" 

"No, I looked around the guy at the front door and saw their truck had a tree emblem on the side. It looked real professional and everything so I figured they were OK." 

"The logo on their truck misspelled 'tree'."   

And suddenly I'm back in the real world and I say, "No, I'm good."  

Of course everyday I lived in fear that a really big storm would come along and rip my trees out by their 10 mile long roots and destroying the entire neighborhood. 

"Julie Luck for News 2 here at the scene of incredible devastation that has been attributed to untamed trees owned by one David Long who apparently spent to much time pretending to be a blogger named Dave-El instead of taking care of homeowner responsibilities."

(Off camera) "DAVE-EL'S BLOG SUCKS!!" 

But dealing with this thing as a plan wasn't working out. I would do research but I knew I would just pick the wrong person or pay more than other people. 

Sometimes, you choose life and sometimes life chooses you. 

This past Saturday, I had been out in the front lawn doing lawn work, trimming hedges and stuff. And by doing work, I mean working for 10 minutes and then taking a 40 minute break to bitch about how itchy I was. God, I hate spring!  

It was during one of these brief breaks that my doorbell rang. I fully expected it might be Jehovah's Witnesses who may have been nearby. 

"Hey, do you hear that?"

"Intermittent hedge trimmer buzzing interspersed with incredibly profane cursing?"

"Yeah, that's it. C'mon, we have a soul to save!" 

But no, it wasn't a Jehovah's Witness. Which was a shame because I haven't had a chance to use my water pistol on one in a long time.  

Instead at the front door was a grizzled man with three more grizzled guys standing by a truck with the emblem of a tree on the side. 

"We were in the neighborhood and noticed your trees could use some work. We can offer you a free estimate and get to work today if you like."  

I looked closer at the name of their company on the side of the truck. "Tree" was not misspelled. 

"Sure," I replied, "why not?"  

And the good news is they did a good job. My trees look a lot better for being thinned down a bit.  Of course, having done a good job, News 2 won't be coming out for one of those "Consumer Beware" pieces that local TV shows do all the time. And I doubt they would send Julie Luck out anyway. 

The bad news is that because the trees are thinned out, the Fortress of Ineptitude can be better seen which means that I have to pressure wash the siding now. 

And I'm so glad my suffering amuses you. 


Tomorrow's blog, I post about the amazing art of Darwyn Cooke who sadly passed away this past weekend. 

Wednesday, some random stuff in the world of comic book super heroes including some thoughts on Supergirl's TV show moving to the CW.  

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.   

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