Danger, Will Robinson!

robot 1010

My goal for the weekend was fairly unachievable, and I knew that before starting out, but it seemed laudable, so I set it: I wanted to be able to get both cars in the garage. Now it’s Monday, and both cars are still outside, my Leaf already complaining about cold temperatures.

When I tote up the hours I spent on the project, it’s pretty measly, although yesterday it felt like a major expense of time. Lynn and I also devoted an hour to a discussion of which remaining projects should be funded first, and the shed that we’ve been given permission to put in place may be on the chopping block. Or not.

On Saturday I went to the shed store, which is also a used car lot and marijuana dispensary, where I learned several things:

1) The brochure they handed me a mere two weeks ago is obsolete. “Here’s the new one with [of course] new pricing.”

2) What the brochure promises is more than they deliver. The brochure says free delivery within 50 miles, but the woman handing me the brochure said free delivery within Gunnison, $2.50 per mile outside Gunnison. The brochure promises the delivery driver will use your concrete blocks or his/her wooden shims to level the shed; the woman told me I needed to provide a level site.

3) If we order a shed so that the size is what we want and the colors would make the HOA happier, delivery is four to six weeks out. I assume, given all the deliveries we have received for our house, that in real English this translates to “two months or more.” (In microwave-speak, where “next week” really means “fourth months and three appliances later,” it would never arrive at all.)

4) There really is not much of an olfactory difference between a skunked house and a car dealership reeking of pot.

Then Lynn and I examined the storage bay we’re currently renting, and the objective with a large part of what’s in there is to find it all new homes. This isn’t really the season for garage sales, but even if we hang onto it for another eight months, two of which we have to pay for anyway while awaiting a shed, that’s cheaper than a shed.

But then I tried sorting stuff in our garage, and I’m back to thinking we need some sort of outbuilding. In my three or so hours in the garage, I filled one-third of the shelves with pots and potting soil. I still have a giant stack of ever-bigger pots needing a home; I don’t know where Lynn’s wagon (that I used yesterday) will reside; her market tent needs a home; I managed to fit about half our miles of hose into a box that needs a place to land; and I put folding tables and some chairs where the ladder had been living.

The ladder went with Lynn for her projects, which consisted of festooning the outside of the house with spinney objects — if three can be considered festooning. As she came back around from her circumambulation, she panted, “Your house seems plenty big when you’re carrying a ladder.”

Let’s discuss this ladder. It was an inheritance from Pat, too big to store once we vacated the building she had owned and moved across the street. I took it home and stowed it in a loft in the garage. And then Lynn closed her bakery and moved all the parts from it into the garage, and suddenly there was no way to access the ladder without rearranging a lot of heavy equipment. So I’ve had a giant extension ladder sitting, unused, for the better part of 20 years.

It got used yesterday, but now is lying across one garage bay not being filled with a car. And what we really need with our nine- and 10-foot ceilings is a step ladder.

I don’t think it’s any secret, but no one has ever taken me up on my many hints, that what I’ve coveted for years is a Little Giant Ladder — 24 ladders in 1! if you believe their infomercials, as I do.

Last night, as I was poking around for something to watch, we came across a Little Giant infomercial. If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is. But here’s the thing about infomercials: they’re so busy trying to hook you that they don’t realize you’ve lost patience and are leaving before they get around to giving you at least a vague notion of price, or a point of contact to get a price.

I turned back to Star Trek and also to my friend the Internet. At least, I thought it was my friend. I went to Duck Duck Go, which besides not following me as I wander the Internet, is just a fun name, and typed in “little giant ladders.” I clicked on LittleGiantLadder.com and suddenly my screen turned bright red. No sirens, but Norton was desperate for my attention. “THE SITE YOU ARE TRYING TO ACCESS IS KNOWN MALWARE,” my computer told me, in what I imagined was a voice much like the Robinsons’ robot from Lost in Space. “YOU DO NOT WANT TO GO THERE.”

Apparently Norton would like me to feel some autonomy in the situation, because I did have the option of pushing a button to “visit the site anyway (despite the most dire warning we can manage, and don’t think we won’t say ‘I told you so’ when you’re infected),” but I obediently backed away, even though I was still very confused as to why the Little Giant site would be known to contain malware.

Once back out at Duck Duck Go (let down by little ducks!), I saw another ad off to the right for LittleGiantLadderS.com. S versus no S. And therein lies all the difference.

I tried to report the bad site — there was a button right there, and the first option for my complaint was “malware,” but then the ducks wouldn’t let me actually submit my complaint. Let down twice in mere minutes by little ducks — what kind of life is this?

You know, I like to think I am above falling for scams. I carefully read my AARP articles and I pay attention to news stories about how the FBI is not going to come through the internet for you, nor will the IRS ever demand a payment in gift cards, but had Norton not so insistently stopped me last night, I might not be able to even tell you about any of this today.

I know not to click links sent through e-mails, but up until last night I did not know that scammers posted their websites with such prominence that the search engine places it above the real website. It would never have occurred to me that an ‘S’ was so important in a web address offered up by friendly ducks. It probably wouldn’t have occurred to me that Little Giant offers a multitude of products, therefore ladderS instead of just the one “As Seen on TV,” which is how it’s described on their website (the real one).

So I still don’t have a Little Giant ladder (and now there are way more choices than I wanted to make), but I still have my computer and guess I will not regard my Norton subscription as a waste of money. Thank goodness for the Robot. And I did get a bunch of pots put away, and unpacked enough tools and tool boxes to cause me to decide I need one large tool box in which to consolidate them all. Maybe I’ll shop for that in person rather than on-line.

Bummer: I took a little movie of Lynn’s spinney, but then it was too big to leave my phone. I’m sure I could connect my phone and computer, but one technological step at a time. You’ll just have to imagine this twirling, or come see for yourself.

spinney 1010



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