Monday, March 25, 2013

National cleaning week!

It's national cleaning week and I am so excited I could just sit here and watch one of the seven zombie shows currently playing on TV -- not including CNN.

I am currently in the middle of a feng swai... Shay... shway? OK, I googled it and it's Fung Shui. I am currently in the middle of trying to "Fung Shui" (verb) my house and shed and storage room.  However, in researching it I have found out that Fung Shui (not verb) has nothing to do with what I  thought it was. 

It is not throwing all my stuff away and painting all the walls white and  planting bamboo and stuff.  It is a whole color and dragon room energy reorientation kind of thing, and frankly it doesn't make sense to me.

Here I am with the kids and my darling wife.
My wife's friend, we shall call her Bessy, has lived by the law of F.S. for years.  She has nothing in her house.  Even her drawers are empty.  Her kids don't come over to see her much anymore unless they are out of a place to live. 

I think it is because Bessy's idea of F. S. has invaded her life.  She has kept nothing important to her, nothing that might cause anyone to feel anything, nothing to get in the way of her picking up and moving to Canada -- which she has been threatening to do for the 20 years I have known her.

However, she has never moved nor has she ever really planned to move.  She sits in her house and looks at the clean white walls.

I have stuff.  I thank God that I have stuff. Now, I just need to box some of the stuff up and give it to DI.

Bessy has her problems, and I have mine.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pond Scum

This post is not about being homeless or poor.  The only possible tie in is that I hope this man will be homeless now.

Officials in Florida on Monday filed an obscenity charge against the author of a self-published, nationally carried how-to guide for pedophiles.

See what I mean. 
Polk County sheriff's deputies arrested and took Philip Ray Greaves II into custody while he was in Colorado at his home where they charged him with a violation of Florida's obscenity law.

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said his office was able to arrest Greaves on Florida charges because Greaves sold and mailed his book through US mail, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct," directly to undercover Polk deputies.

"He very proudly sold us his personal copy," Officer Judd told the Associated Press. "I was outraged by the content. It was clearly a manifesto on how to sexually batter children ... You just can't believe how absolutely disgusting it was."

Apparently is was the last book from the author - which I am sorry to say seems to indicate that all those published have been sold and are accessible by the general public.

Author Greaves is being charged in Florida with distribution of obscene material depicting minors engaged in conduct harmful to minors.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Proof is in the Christmas Pudding

President Obama announced the parameters of his "deal" with Republicans to extending the Bush era tax cuts, acknowledging that he still strongly opposes the extension of cuts for the very wealthy, but that letting that get in the way of cuts for the middle class would be wrong.

"As much as the political wisdom may dictate fighting over solving problems, it would be the wrong thing to do," to delay resolution until the next year, Obama said.

The "deal" includes...

-2-year extension of Bush-era tax rates all - including the wealthy
-13-month extension of unemployment insurance
-2 percentage point decrease in the payroll tax for one year.

As a FYI  The cost overall in lost government revenue is at least $450 billion in 2011 (which is a bit higher loss than the same type of stimulus package from 2009).

Of course Pelosi went on record to say that she was not in agreement with the president, and Reid, with furrowed brow reveled that he would be in attendance when this is discussed on the morrow. 

Democratic sources say many lefty lawmakers object to a new provision on the estate taxes also included.   On inheritances greater than $5 million dollars, the rate would be 35 percent, so those who have ailing rich grandparents may wish to speed them up a bit as inheritances will be less in the new year.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

"Bush tax cuts? Not Without Unemployment Package in Exchange" says Obama

Sorry, Nothing Available With Santa.  This is Boxcar Bunny
 The Senate held two procedural votes on separate Democratic measures designed to extend the George W.-era tax cuts for middle income wage earners. The first vote being for those earning under $250,000 and the second one being for those making under $1 million per year. Both failed to get the needed 60 votes, both only received 53.
In the House there was a minimum of trouble, they were able to pass a temporary extension earlier this week. But in the Senate, a handful of Democrats joined the Republicans, and to a man, the Senate Republicans blocked the measure that would have prevented the tax cuts on those earning under $250,000 from going away at the end of the year. Several senators are expecting that President Obama will finally agree to a deal with the Republicans sometime near the end of next week. The most probable of plans is one that would keep the tax cuts in place for everyone for between one and three years. This this is probably the only compromise that Republicans and some Democrats who think the economy would suffer will accept.

The Hostages
In exchange for giving in to their demands, Obama will probably ask for the Senate Republicans cooperation in getting both the nuclear arms treaty, and some sort of bill that would extend unemployment benefits. The President said “It is absolutely essential — to our hardworking middle-class families and to our economy — to make sure that their taxes don’t go up on January 1st.” He went on to also suggest that the extension of unemployment insurance are already part of an ongoing negotiation with Senate Republicans. The President also said, “I continue to believe that it makes no sense to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage to permanent tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans,especially when those high-income tax cuts would cost an additional $700 billion that we don’t have.” But the Republicans have also found another hostage, in the unemployed of the nation.

Mean while Delay Tactics By Pelosi May be delayed themselves as Friday is her hair appointment day, and we really, really want her to not miss that important event.

There is no evidence that these tax cuts created even a single job.
“Back when Bush was pushing his tax cut packages through Congress in 2001 and 2003, supporters said the cuts (which weren’t balanced with spending reductions) would initiate an era in which the American economy would grow so robustly the nation would be running a surplus of more than $5 trillion at the scheduled expiration date. U.S. now runs a deficit of about $1.3 trillion.

On the one hand they want to provide $700 billion in tax cuts for the wealthiest, but not pay for them. On the other hand they demand that unemployment benefits for the middle class be paid for. It’s kind of like someone on a diet ordering a Diet Coke and a Big Mac simultaneously.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said, “I’m trying to figure out how anyone can keep a straight face and say they’re for deficit reduction while they insist on a permanent tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, completely unpaid for,” The rich have HAD their tax cuts the whole time, where are those jobs they supposedly are going to create with their extra wealth they have been sitting on?

So do I or don't I get a break for Christmas with unemployment benefits.  I was wondering if I should pay the bills or by food.

Mr Obama, please let me know.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Second Verce, Same as the First

"The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system." --in remarks after a health care roundtable with physicians, nurses and health care providers, Washington, D.C., July 20, 2009
Has President Obama Earned Another Term?

Quinnipiac released a brand new poll that says Americans think President Obama does not deserve to be given a second chance, or a second term.

46% of you who responded answered, “Yes.” Another 26% answered, “Yes, but only if he does more to support the LGBT community in the future.” Only 26% responded with a form of “No.” and sometimes "heck no"

How’s that for LGBT apathy? I think we’re proving the pundits wrong.

Does President Obama deserve a second term?
Yes. [ 46% (184 votes)
No. [ 16% (65 votes)
Yes, but only if he does more to support the LGBT community in the future.- 26% 102 votes
No, he's proven he won't support the LGBT community in the future.-10% (41 votes)
Other [ 2% (8 votes)

I personally think that there is no way he could have met the hype. It is like going to a movie that everyone had been weeks professing to adore. There is such a huge building up of expectations that how could anything or anyone live up? Now that the two years are over and he is solidly in the middle of his term, has had a chance to get experience behind him and pick his battled, what is he picking? What is happening differently?

Nothing. Sorry.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2 4 6 0 1

Rent to own is the bomb. What I mean by that is it has been a bomb for me and my family - a bomb as in it sucks. My wife would shake her head at me and tell me to choose another word (sucks being a vile, sucky word for her), but sucks it does and has for the past three plus years.

I originally thought, on that peaceful fall day three plus years ago, it would be a good idea after we lost our house to sign up and pay a significant down to be in a position to buy the house after a few years.


Through no ones fault but my own, I am today just as poor as I was three years ago. I have become the Jean Valjean of hard-up writers. Instead of stealing bread for my family I will be the poor man on the street who sleeps on the corner next to an outlet in order to update his blog. I don’t steal anything to eat. I just need power to blog.

Three years later the price on my house is $75,000. more than any other house in the neighborhood. We have had to pay out for a new fridge, new windows, new and decidedly less soggy carpet and a partial new roof. Rent to ownership means that we assume responsibility for normal wear and tear, which for them means something more significant than holes in the roof or central heating and air that screams and smokes and has been on vacation since Obama took office.

Don’t be late with your payment, and don’t call us if there is an electrical fire or if the foundation slides its way across the street.

The only way rent-to-own would have been good for us or anyone else is if the market had stayed relatively stable and we would have kept a sizable contingency fund to cover acts of god and gravity. Of coerce, had we had more to put down, we would have bought the dang home to begin with.

And now that we are getting ready to move because, A - we cant afford to tear the walls out due to a ten year old mold problem, and B - the property investment organization wants another sucker to put another significant down, guess what I got in my email? An offer to attend a cool meeting about The Way to get rich by investing in investing in property/homes club of the greater rocky mountain area in a rent-to-own as a landlord! They even want us to buy their book! The flier says that we can let lowly others pay our bills, and then we can keep our money to invest. All we would have to do is find someone more lowly.

Why didn’t I, the modern day 2 4 6 0 1 think of that?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yeah! I Don't Have a Million Dollar Home! Yeah! ...wait.

I keep looking for signs that the economy is on an upward slant. I wait for the news from wall street to brighten, for the sun to come out and for the birds to sing. I wait for smiley faces to great me when I open my bank statements.

I am still waiting.

I read today that the value of many homes that used to be worth $1 million in the Salt Lake area has dropped from 30 to 40% percent since the real estate market tanked several years ago. This means that some of these home owners who wear shoes not made out of pleather and corrugated cardboard are still in deals that will cost them more than $400.000 than their homes are worth on the market today.

Loan officers say that the high-end homes -- meaning the homes with heated drive ways,servant's quarters and contoured toilet seats -- will be years trying to re-gain their full value, and it may never come back."

These same mortgage-men say that homes worth half-million dollar may be a different can of worms altogether. These homes will most likely see their value return much more quickly than those of the richer homes up the road.


Fortunately, I am not one of the people with a million dollar home. Yeah, ...I am really happy about that. No nice home for me with all the responsibilities and pleasures and joys and dry mold-free walls that come from nice-home ownership. I am not even the guy with the "half-a-million-dollar" home with floors and roofs and floors. And Everything. How sad for me.

I rent. I rent because I lost my home for reasons that I am rather embarrassed about.

I it seems that I was poorer than I had planed on being.

I gotta say that while the banker guys are miffed, I actually understand the "how and why" someone would walk away from a house they would lose money on. This type of "strategic default" would still leave one having to pay the difference between the resale value of the home and the amount of their loan - like there are hoards of folks standing in the queue to by the Mc Mansion of Utah.

Apparently with the economy as is, these people who walk away from their home loan won't be able to buy another home for at least four years, possibly longer depending on the mood ring on the hand of the lender.

Four years sounds about right. I wonder if they need a house sitter?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yes Officer, You May See Her Drivers Licence...

My wife has taken extreme measures to make sure that we are not profiled by police officers due to the new and controversial immigration guidelines in Arizona.

The problem is that we don't live in Arizona. Also, you should know that she is as blond as a polar bear in a snowstorm wearing a blond ski parka. At noon. On Blond Day.

I myself, if I were to be so politically incorrect as to compare my epidermis to an actual color, would have to pick Lightest Blue - as in I-think-this-is-a-vein, Doctor blue.

My children fall somewhere in the middle of Blonde and Lightest Blue except for Myelda, my eldest daughter, who is often the color of a fried orange due to what I feel is both excessive and compulsive tanning. Apparently she thinks Lightest Blue with a lightly breaded fried chicken completion is something to be sought after.

My wives latest police-avoiding ploy involves applying a commemorative badge celebrating handicapped & retired officers of the law to the back window just above the license plate. I think it is a good ploy.

Scenario; Gentle Police Officer sees moss-green van speeding or swerving unnaturally or taking undue license with established vehicular guidelines. Officer Fluffy puts down his donut and peruses said rolling moss ball. He approaches the van from far enough away to not notice my wife's unnatural grimace, white knuckled death grip on the steering wheel and steely cold maniacal stare. He calls in the plate number, but before he receives a reply from Consuela at dispatch, he takes note of the too-many pointed star glistening on the rear window; a sticker that represents those near and dear to Officer Fluffies's donuts – I mean, heart...

He lets her pass.

Letting her pass is a good thing. My lovely, kind spirited wife & companion thinks nothing of spending an afternoon leading a police man hunt, or entertaining the troops with questionable challenges or mother jokes. Very funny. Don't laugh. The Oficers Fluffy toss you on the hood of their car and leave you there for hours.

She calls them names, good wholesome all American names, like “Sally” or “Mary”. And then asks them if they have put in an order for larger uniforms. I just smile and try to make sign language to let the Fluffies know that she not only is insane, but that we are only related by marriage and that the opinions expressed may not necessarily express my personal feelings.

I, in direct opposition, have been known to hide in an industrial garage or behind billboards for an entire labor day weekend in order to avoid being “officially” reminded of a possable broken headlight. Rolling red and blues in my rear-view mirror have been the cause of much money spent in wet cleanup at the car wash.

I suppose, to cut to the chase, I am saying that our collective experience with our brethren of law enforcement has not been as warm or as fuzzy as it is with, say, funerals, root canals or sewer exploration.

I guess the whole immigration thing won't really work unless we trust the Fluffies to act in the best interest of "we the people" without deference to politics and positioning.

Until that happens, I will be right here in my van under a camo tarp and a few well placed sage brush waiting until dark to make a diet coke run.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rivers To Cross, Bridges To Build

By personal decree, I am supposed to write about why I am poor and what I am doing about it - my own personal mission/blog statement.

I can't imagine being a poor man in any other age and having a mission statement - or even having the ability to say anything except by mob or by gang or by planting potatoes in squiggly lines in protest.

I would probably be one of the first to die with Robin Hood in the movie - the plucky comic relief that gets killed pointlessly during the opening credits - if I even made it that far politically. So I have God to thank that I have a form by which to make a difference.

Arizona passes a new law on immigration, and I am hearing many people say that it is not their place to create such a law. And I wonder if it's my place to comment? Then I remember that I pay my state taxes like the next guy, if indeed the next guy pays taxes. Having to pay for the uninsured non citizens means that a portion of what I bleed goes to pay their health benefits. So, yes, I should have something to say about illegal immigration.

The new Arizona law is not new. It enforces a federal law that seems to be not enforced. And the federal law is supported by the constitution. It does not encourage racial profiling anymore than does the enforcement of traffic laws or vehicular registration laws. Law enforcement (and I am so not for giving these guys any more power) are not allowed to pull anyone over without measured significant cause.

Yeah, I'm not so sure I like the idea, or even believe it - with the personal experience I have had with law enforcement. As an agency I feel they are far too easily corruptible - as is evidenced by incredible and seemingly un-checked power over civilians that pushes legal standards as it is. This may be the real flaw in the Arizona law.

But, in theory, they are not to be profiling any more or less with this new standard. It does force those pulled over to provide proof of citizenship. Doesn't a legal drivers licence provide that? Don't we have to provide these ID's when we apply for a state ID or a licence?

Another question. Why are we giving the leg up on one group of immigrants while insisting that another jump through financial/political hoops? My friends from Brazil are struggling financially, but they pay the fees and wait the allotted times and complete the forms and pay more fees and follow the rules to immigrate lawfully and rightfully to the US, while many others from, dare I say where, are illegal aliens? And they are illegal and not just the politically correct "non-residents" just as illegal drug dealers are not "non-licenced pharmacists."

It seems the established immigration laws under the constitution are to protect residents of our country. If you wish to be a resident, there is an established manner of action for ALL, not just those outside of Mexico. Am I racist or bigoted for wanting all immigrants to follow the same rules? Would I follow them if I was in their shoes, or would I slide on in and try to take advantage of a better system in order to support my family?

I hope I would follow the law. And no, I don't think I am racist or bigoted.

I am just poor. With a blog.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Don't Hate Obama...

Its a Political Full Moon. Be Afraid

...In fact, I really want to like him. Years ago I heard him interviewed on PBS as the great Democratic hope, and I liked the guy. He has since become the poster child for elitism and snobbery. And I know snobby. He ran on the ticket of change, but his tactics are increasingly old fashioned and self serving. I have been reading the new health care bill and I am mortified.

In these days like no other, "Less is More" should be tattooed on our bulbous foreheads. This health plan has turned on its lights, pulled us over, frisked us, beat us and won't give us our one phone call. "Don't Tread On Me" has become, "These Boots Were Made for Walking".

Am I listening to to much talk radio? Should I take down my Sean Hannity poster? Jon Stewart told Fox news to "go f*** itself". 'Teabonics' is the most recent dialect of the spelling-challenged (Brothers!) and reality-impaired. Do I want to be on any of these sides? I hope am not just jumping on the brass bandwagon who is the loudest. Whose hyperbole fits the occasion best? And are we best served by just giving up and replacing the whole Washington and Hollywood bunch.

I want a job. I want insurance that leaves me with teeth and not just holes. I want to have hope for the future. I am willing to pay the taxes, but I want to see it going somewhere, and getting my family someplace.

Who do I believe? Who do you?