by Mark Tarses

December, 2007


If you are going to pay your December rent by personally delivering your check(s) to my house, please knock on my door or ring my bell instead of just slipping the check(s) in my mail slot this month. I have some things to give you. I have prepared your annual Interest on Deposit letter, and I have bundles of rent paying envelopes for those of you who mail checks to me.


If you are going to be out of town until past January 1, you might consider giving me a rent check postdated to January 1, 2008 before you leave town.


I've been making boxed turtles and English toffee for the holiday season. I only make them at this time of year. They are too time-consuming to make all year long. Every tenant is entitled to one box.


Looking for a good movie to watch on your laptop while traveling home for the holidays? I've got DVDs of my 2 favorite movies about chocolate for loan to tenants. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Chocolat." Neither movie accurately depicts how chocolate is really made, but both are very good movies anyway.


If you leaving town for the holidays, think about home security before you go. Burglars cruise around town looking for houses that look vacant. There are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce your chances of being robbed while you are gone. Get a light timer. Set it to turn on one or more lamps at 5PM and turn them off at 11PM. Ask the post office to hold your mail or ask a friend or neighbor to take in your mail or parcels left on your porch.  A porch piling up with newspapers, an overstuffed mailbox, or a door covered with UPS attempted delivery notices are obvious signs that nobody is home. And before you go, why not turn your thermostat down or off? Why pay to heat a vacant house or apartment? In most of the U.S., you can't turn the heat completely off when you leave town because your water pipes could freeze and burst while you are away, but we don't have that problem here in Bay Area.


Want a free 20" color TV? I've got 2 of them. and I have no use for either. Both work fine and have remote controls.

"Scrubbing Bubbles." If I haven't already given you a can of this stuff, just ask me for one. This product is a favorite of professional house cleaners. Its called Scrubbing Bubbles because you don't have to do the work. The bubbling action does the scrubbing for you. Scrubbing Bubbles dissolves soap scum, bathtub rings, and leaves porcelain and stainless steel sinks sparkling clean. (I know that sounds like an ad, but the stuff really does work.) Please, never use abrasive cleansers like Comet or Ajax. They do permanent damage to countertops, fixtures, and appliances.

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