America Still Kicking Some Ass
I know that's a politically loaded subject line, and I realize that we're still fighting two wars (respect to 20PercentPM and military Fools like him) and that many Americans are unemployed and hurting. I realize we have major economic challenges, and that some scientists even question whether or not humanity as a whole will survive the 21st century. Nice.
But for my family, which is blatantly middle class (high class wife + no class husband = middle class), life is very good for us. When you talk about a country (or state/city/town) working, you talk about the trains running on time and the garbage getting picked up. In my experience, despite all of California's economic woes, and despite all the hand-wringing, consternation, and endless posts of a certain doom-obsessed Fool, the GOP and TV/radio's talking heads, things are not only working in my little slice of America, they're kicking ass.
My family is moving from the LA area to the Chicago area. And they say that moving is one of the most stressful things people can do. But here are 5 companies/organizations I'm dealing with that are making this move a 1,000 times less stressful, and all of them have their act together.
Redfin Real Estate
After an utter debacle with a stunningly incompetent real estate agent who priced our house too high and advised doing no work on it, we were able to find a team of genuinely inspired agents who, so far, have shown exceptional professionalism and who are doing it in a classic Rule Breaking way that would make David Gardner proud. They do virtually everything any real estate agent needs to do, and only charge 1.5% commission to sell the house, while only proiving buying agents with 2.5% instead of three. In other words, I'm getting excellent service, paying less money and an industry ripe for "creative" destruction is being beautifully destroyed before our eyes, and to my family's benefit. The agents compensation is not based on the commission, but on a team effort, and customer satisfaction reports. So far, I reccomend Redfin highly.
Since my house didn't sell right out of the gate, and we have to get our kid into Jr. High School by Sept 1, 2010, my wife and daughter have to leave before I do. To make a long story short, we have some moving chaos - need to have two moves, to find temporary apartment and as Seinfeld says, "yada, yada, yada." I also have more crap in our garage - despite always throwing crap out - and this crap infestatio is not only killing my very soul, but making our house look awful in showings. So, I find out about this company, that delivers "pods" - portable moving/storage containers. The dudes give me one price quote and deliver the pod exactly when I want it, where I want it. All I had to do was pick up a phone. I can fill as many pods as I need, and have them stored in LA or Chicago as I need them. How freaking great is that? So far, I recommend Pods.Com with man-passion.
We all rememeber that Native American dude who cries at the site of our disgusting penchant for garbage-making. Well, his soul entered mine two days ago when I found myself with piles of rotted old boxes, busted lamps, and other assorted detritus of idiotic consumer living. Exept with mine, my shoulders heaved and I had to blow my nose twice. I then remembered seeing these bright bluea and green got junk ads on the Pods site. I called them because incredibly, I was able to remember there number. Two magical fellas showed up the next day in their truck, loaded up all that *&^t from my garage and hauled it away. So far, I recommend 1800GOTJUNK.COM with all my muscle power.
I love watching a good fistfight in a cage, but most of the time I'm a peace loving man who is currently completely against both of our money-sucking wars with questionable benefits. Still, I support our troops who have to risk everything. So, I often call Amvets when I have useful things that can be given to them and sold from their thrift stores to raise money for vets in need. I currently have about 15 huge-ass garbage bags full of stuff. Their truck is coming today to pick it up. Here's their website.
OUR LOCAL POWER COMPANY
They handle our garbage and are sending a truck to pick up a nasty - and i mean NAS-TAY - smelly ass, super stank-farted up couch. Hey, I'm a man and won't apologize for how the Lord made me. Heh heh heh. Okay, not gonna lie - this governmental organization had some clownish behavior. You call their phone for "bulky item pick up" and the lady leaves a message suggesting to do it on a website and then barks out the absurdly long email address so fast you can't get it. I did have to call more than once, but still, a truck will come and mercifully haul this couch off to be properly executed.
So, while the world has problems and always always will, this middle cl-ass man is doing what Ice-T might call "thriving surviving kicking high-fiving" or something like that.
Sorry to disappoint the nay-sayers, and American play-ah haters. But the country, from this little bald-ass bastard's point of view is still kicking some ass.
H. Wood D.