Monday, November 21, 2011

My friend bought his first home today

Congratulations to my young friends! Today, they signed their life away and purchased their first home. Let the depletion of the bank accounts begin!

For those of you who always rent your home, sweet home, let me just tell you that you aren't missing out too much. Buying a home is just like renting, except that your landlord becomes your local government. Instead of fixing what's wrong on your property, they add to your honey-do lists with all sorts of fun rules and regulations. If you don't think that you own your new home, just miss a property tax payment.

I'm kidding. I bought my home years ago and have a lot of fond memories. In fact, if the walls of my home could talk, they'd scream, "No, not the nails! Not the hammer!"

Anyway, now my friends get to experience the joys of home maintenance. Fun times like wall-papering. I've heard that you only need 4 big guys to wallpaper a house, but you have to slice them really thin.

pathetic as an aging hipster?

They tease me. Often. People who are supposed to be my love ones. People who are supposed to respect me. Supposed to. Yet, they tease me and called me "Austin Powers".

Ok, maybe I encourage the ribbing, just a bit. Thick glasses and a toothy grin. Yeah Baby!

Fortunately, no one refers to me as "Doctor Evil". Not that I haven't had bombastic thoughts of world domination during those darker moments in my day; my inner geek toying with ideas of starting a laser spine institute so I can graft weapons of deadly light onto sharks (or, at least, glue a laser pointer on their head). But I can't. I'm not evil enough. "[I'm] semi-evil. [I'm] quasi-evil. [I'm] the margarine of evil. [I'm] the Diet Coke of evil. Just one calorie, not evil enough."

For now, I stick to flirting with the "Man of Mystery" image ... and the good-natured teasing.

The Brilliance of

Once again, has out done himself on his blog. Take a look at this amazing chart that shows your one dollar makes up the trillions of dollars in the world.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Up, up, and away

I completed a successful flight from Raleigh to Nashville and am now in the comforts of my sister's home. All of my pre-flight worries were really a waste of time.

I was dreading the delays normally caused by security checks. But, I arrived at the gate early enough in the morning to breeze through the checks relatively quick.

I do want to thank that dedicated TSA agent and her enthusiastic pat-down. That was the closest I've come to joining the mile-high club --- all before even boarding the plane! Perhaps, I should not have started dancing as I walked up to the body scanner, waving my arms in the air and singing "I'm too sexy for my shoes, too sexy for my belt, just too sexy." Obviously, a terrorist plot to terrorize everyone with my singing and dancing. Fortunately, the body scanner didn't reveal anything threatening -- like overwhelming body odor.

The flight itself made me feel safe with its features: a bullet-proof kick plate on the door to the cockpit, and flight attendants who looked like members of the Women's Russian Wrestling team.

All-in-all, my plane ride went well. There was even a dinner and a show - a bag of stale peanuts and the safety flight announcements by one of those bulky stewardesses. I understand that the double bags over her face were additional safety protections for the passengers.

In a few more days, I'll be experiencing this adventure again as I ride those shiny metal wings homeward. Whatever I paid for this wonderful trip, it was ... too much!

Monday, November 14, 2011

gosh darn it, punctuation matters

I'm reading a great book on punctuation called "Punctuation at Work " by Richard Lauchman. I must say that it has helped tremendously. I've gone from "I've led a life well-lived" to "I've led a life, well, lived."

Friday, November 11, 2011

More Price Increases a-coming!

I'm not sure how cheap you can get your computer system if you use dell home coupons. When I checked out the site, I couldn't tell if the coupons simply reflected Dell’s special offerings or were giving you additional cost savings. Nevertheless, in my opinion, you might want to give that option (or something similar) serious consideration. I say this because of two major economic whammies in route to your favorite computer store as you read my post.

The first economic factor deals with Thailand -- a major supplier of memory chips and hard drives to the world. Last month, the country experienced flooding severe enough to take out several key manufacturers of vital chips and storage devices. Currently, the worldwide pipeline has enough material so that the computer industry won't feel the shortages until the first quarter of 2012. After that, those wonderful laws of supply and demand will kick in and sharply increase the prices of our electronic goodies.

Economic factor number two starts in January of next year. Workers in China will get a pay raise when their employers must start paying a 20% increase in the minimum wage. The workers’ gain will be your gain in the form of higher computer costs as those Chinese businesses pass along newly mandated expenses.

So, if you were planning to wait until year for your new computer, you might want to rethink that.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

daylight withdrawal times

We are off of the Daylight Savings time now. Yeppy! I don't know what we've been saving up for, but I feel spent.

I hate when we go through this time change. It means I get to drive into work while it's dark and drive home in the darkness. It was especially bad this past few days. Then I realized that I had been driving with my car cover on. A tad embarrassing ...

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Spending Your Money With A Bang

Even though there are extremely important stories going on in my little town, it seems that our community don't matter to the local news groups unless someone is working the media to run for office.

However, today, I learned that a few fifth graders from an small elementary school down the road got to participate in a $20,000 Department of Defense STARBASE rocketry program. The vision statement of this DoD exercise is to:
"... raise the interest and improve the knowledge and skills of at-risk youth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which will provide for a highly educated and skilled American workforce that can meet the advanced technological requirements of the Department of Defense."
In other words, "spending your tax money on 50 children who at risk of being hoodlums, in hopes that we can get one or two to be a gang-banger for us in their adults years."

I understand the day went well. The instructor for DoD taught science and, more importantly, "life lessons." At the end of the program, as each children received their certificate, this highly paid government employee taught each student "to shake hands, look the adults in the eye, and to respect their peers as they waited."

I am glad to learn that our tax dollars have been used to teach a few lucky children out of millions how to shake hands, and how to respect their peers, all while playing with rockets. I know most of those parents probably do not have the means to expose their children to such an experience, including the rocketry part. Hopefully, those children won't get confused and end up shaking rockets at their peers, respectfully. But if it happens in my town, it probably won't get reported in the news -- unless there's a vote to be had, of course.

Future looks blight

Yes, "blight", not "bright".

My mother used to say, "No rest for the wicked." Apparently, I've been a very bad boy. A quick look at my finances and the wondrous projections for my social security account, I see that I won't be retiring in 15 or 20 years. Rather, it will be more like 30 or 40 years, assuming that I'm still more productive than an extremely stubby pencil with a chewed-up eraser end. And you know how well companies treat used-up pencils.

Lately, I have been reviewing my future work options. For example, there are several bars in the area. I suppose I could always look into Cocktail Server Jobs. As long as my shakiness hasn't reached earthquake tremor levels, I’m sure I will be able to deliver more drinks than I spill.

There's always the option to trade my plasma for cash -- as long as my blood cells haven't acquired their own wheelchairs and oxygen support systems.

More promising is a third option that I have started working on. Like all promising tasks, it's easy to say, but involves a lot of work that wasn't initially obvious. It's kind of like "cook a meal." By the time you’ve finished, you've found that you spent more hours than first anticipated, worked over more food than you thought possible, and you now have tons of dirtied dishes demanding your attention. Who thought that three little words could involve so much work. Anyway, more on option number three later.