Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Urban Cowboy

Dear Mighty Urban Cowboy,
How can I resist your charm? You must be a really neat person because for all that heavy work you must do there is no dust on those Redwings you wear. I know you said that callous on your hand was from fencing, but your Playstation controller looks pretty worn to me….
Running out of gas while patrolling the subdivision in your oversized dooly truck?
Hey you might get better gas mileage if you dropped that heavy belt buckle.
I guess you are kind of green though, you do recycle. You make sure you save all your Mountain Dew bottles to spit your chew into. And as if all these things weren’t proof enough of your masculinity my redneck friend, you have strategically placed pair of testicles hanging from your truck to erase any doubts I might have. How can a woman resist?

How what didn't happen yesterday will affect you.

In case you’ve missed every news program out there the bailout plan was rejected yesterday. The House can barely find their own a**hole with a mirror, much less make a major decision that could save the economy. In an effort to save billions they have now caused us to lose trillions. 401K savings dropped like rain yesterday as the stock market dropped more than it ever has. It will affect every single person out there, not just those trying to get a mortgage or auto loan. When banks say they are going to have to stop giving credit, they mean ALL credit. It’s not just those in the market for a house or some big ticket item that will be in trouble. Here’s an example: You have a credit card with a $6000 credit limit. You currently have a balance of $1000 on it. That means you have $5000 available credit. This is the credit the bank will take. Whatever you still have available on the card the bank will take, reducing your credit limit to save themselves from the liability. Then your debt to credit ratio will change, causing your credit score to lower, and things with a price rate based on your credit rating will go up, such as car insurance. Everyone is going to be screwed if there isn’t some type of resolution put into place, it may already be too late. Hopefully today we will have an answer. Oh wait a minute, that’s right, the House won’t resume negotiations until Wednesday, because today is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and they must observe this. Wow, is this a Federal holiday that I didn’t know about? Hmmm, it didn’t seem like all of the government agencies and banks were closed today. That’s okay; we can sway in the wind one more day, waiting to see the outcome. We’ve been doing it for eight years now, what’s one more day? Mazal Tov!

Monday, September 29, 2008

The way I see it......

I love Starbucks. Love probably isn’t a strong enough word to describe my feelings for this place. This place is like a vital part of my daily schedule. I’ve tried other coffee drinks at other coffee shops, and nothing ever matches their drinks. One thing that makes me feel better about my purchase of overpriced coffee on a regular basis is the fact that they make me feel more “green” about myself. I tell myself that since they go to great lengths to get approval to use drink cups out of recycled material then they really care and Al Gore would be happy with my choice of a coffee shop that tries to go green. I just have one concern with this place, that every barista that makes my drink uses two cups for one beverage, even when the outer protective cuff is on the cup as well. This practice happens at every Starbucks I go to. If you are going to go to great lengths to do your part for our environment and make your cups out of 10% post consumer recycled content doesn’t it kind of defeat the purpose when you use two cups for each drink?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tales from the crypt of what used to be our thriving economy.

I should have focused on a financial career. I could have became the head of a bank or mortgage lender, gave loans to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that applied for one, collected my bonuses, and then when they couldn’t pay any more cut my losses and go and let someone else clean up the mess. This is basically what every major mortgage lender has done which has led to the downward spiral that our economy is on. It is very perplexing to me, as well as many other people who just can’t get their head around this. I think aside from being confusing it is hard to comprehend that this could have happened in the US, but it has and it can’t be mended with a band aid. This is my extremely simple explanation of the major contributing factor that has brought us to this point. This is the way I understand it from all of the political magazines and money reports that I read.
Okay first you have Suzie and Johnny. They have just gotten married and are ready to take the next big step, which is home ownership. They go to the bank and apply for a loan. Now the lender takes into consideration both of their incomes to come up with a higher mortgage and allow them to get a higher priced home. Back in the good old days when it was actually harder to get a mortgage loan they considered one income, which made sense because if one lost their job then the other one could always pick up the tab. Or you had a lot of collateral to offer and if you ended up not paying the bank could seize your assets and it wouldn’t be a total loss to them. This might result in a lower price range but this was the smartest move for the consumer. However lenders got greedy and as their commissions went up the requirements for obtaining a loan went down. So Suzie and Johnny buy a house with a mortgage figured on both of their incomes. Everything is going smoothly for a while. Credit card offers come quickly, along with even more lines of credit since they have a loan in the first place. Being of sound financial mind they only get one credit card for emergencies. As the months go by their credit limits build since they always make timely payments and everything’s all happy. They get a furniture set on sale and finance this since they have been managing so well and they figure they’ve got it covered. Then Johnny’s company lays him off because they are moving to Mexico. Why stay in the US and pay Americans what their worth when you can go across the border and pay Pedro 25 cents to do the exact same job? Big business has gotten greedy yet again. So Johnny draws unemployment for awhile until this fizzles out. He can’t find another job because the job market sucks right now. What jobs are available are being filled quickly and those are few and far between because Johnny’s company wasn’t the only one that left the country. Suzie’s doing all she can to cover that fancy mortgage payment with her income, but since it was figured on both of their incomes she can’t reasonably pay it. They pay everything they can with the credit card until it’s maxed out, eventually they max out all of their resources and they are drowning in debt. The cause of all their problems was started by this massive mortgage payment so they do what they have to, which is just mail the keys in and walk away. Now since they had no collateral in the first place they have nothing else to offer the bank so they are left holding the bill.
The second example is Pete. He passes by a house one day and decides he wants to buy it. He goes to the bank and says I want to buy that house. He has no collateral, no down payment, and has been working steadily at the same job for a whopping six months. Mr. Lender tells Pete to sign on the dotted line because he meets the current requirements for obtaining a mortgage loan, which is a pulse. He takes the keys to his house, fills his new home with items purchased on all of his newly available credit lines and cards. He makes the minimum payments while it suits him to do so, but then he decides he’s tired of the obligation and quits making the payments on all of his bills and eventually his mortgage. He walks away from his home leaving the bank with another loss.
These are two really simple examples but it is the basic synopsis of events that have led to where we are at today. Basically a lot of people have done what Suzie, Johnny, and Pete have done and this led to a mortgage meltdown as banks keep accumulating more and more losses. Then they go bankrupt or get a bailout and leave someone else to clean up the mess. This has led to the miserable economy that we are in today and has also made us the laughing stock around the world for looking like idiots. Everyone got greedy and now it’s time to pay the piper.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Haiku


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Memory of My Mums

My favorite thing about September has got to be mums. They are so beautiful. I always go to painstaking lengths to make sure that I have a variety of them planted to compliment my landscaping throughout the remainder of the season. I’ve not had a lot of time to work on my flowers at all this year but I made sure to carve out time to give plenty of time to plant some mums. After several hours of pulling weeds and rearranging I had an assortment of them and a variety of flowers that I was very proud of. All of this work was smashed into a clump a few days later in a lot less time than it took to make them so beautiful. The day started out well enough. I sat out on my porch drinking my morning coffee, feeling the breeze, and admiring my flowers. How pretty they were. I then decided I saw a weed that had to be pulled right then, that minute. It couldn’t wait. So I proceeded to get up and started to walk off the porch. I was wearing five inch wedge shoes that are not practical at all, which I can’t let go of in a desperate attempt at holding on to my youth. I always have to concentrate on my walking in them. Well I apparently forgot this fact and took off of the porch rather abruptly. My foot then snapped under me at a sharp ninety degree angle and I fell off the steps that lead off of my porch and landed in my nice pretty flowers. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad had I not tried to jump up quickly out of embarrassment so that none of my neighbors who happened to be out in their yards would notice me. When I did jump up so soon I immediately fell back into the same patch of flowers just as quickly because my foot which had just been forced into a position no foot should be in went completely out when I put pressure on it. This gave my beautiful flowers yet another crushing blow, destroying what had been missed in the previous fall several seconds prior. I’m trying to salvage what I can of them but I think it’s a lost cause. My shoes however survived the trauma. They managed to avoid damage by landing in the cushioning of my mums I guess. I don’t even know why I was worried about making my neighbors laugh. They laughed hard enough a week prior when I was taking the luggage rack off of my Jeep. I decided to take it off to get what tiny percentage more I could manage to get out of my gas mileage. When I finally got all of the screws and brackets off I jerked with just a tad too much force and lost my footing, fell off of the kitchen chair I was standing on along with the luggage rack which promptly popped me in the face as soon as we landed. At least I can say I wasn’t standing on the chair in five inch wedges.


I watched an interesting History channel documentary that stated that the anticipated date for the end of the world will occur on December 21, 2012. I then googled this and found many sites devoted to this apparent fact that I did not know even existed. I also found an equal number of sites that talked about the stupidity of those believing this fact. I’m beginning to think it might be true given the pathetic state of our economy and everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket lately everywhere. Driving home Friday night I passed by tons of gas stations, all out of gas, and the one that finally did have gas had hundreds of cars in line to get what was left. Food prices have gone up and everyone is having to scrimp and save, spending less and thus shoving the economy down this seemingly never ending cycle. 401K’s are dropping value about every ten minutes. I got all exited after checking my retirement report and I’d only lost 37cents. Then it dawned on my dumbass I’ve only been enrolled for about a month in it. (I’ve been slow to reach financial maturity and start planning and saving) I also found an Einstein quote that stated once the bees were gone man would follow in four years. Well, 2012 would be four years from now, and the bees are disappearing around the world, everywhere except Israel. Hmmmm…….It’s really made me think. What if everything is going to end in 2012? I found that the only place geologically in the US that might survive whatever happens would be Berea, KY, for reasons I can’t understand. It’s probably just some ad campaign the Berea Tourist Board and real estate agencies created for obvious reasons. I don’t know. I’d like to be able to say that all of this reflection about our possible impending demise has made me be a better person. I’d like to be able to say this but unfortunately that would be a lie. I’m still the same sarcastic, hateful person I always was. I may rent an RV and spend the 21st of December 2012 in Berea. Then I can return to work on December 23rd to hysterical laughs while people speculate on what an idiot I am.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I hate people who try to tell me how to think. I’m the type of person that I have very deep personal beliefs about everything from politics to abortion but I have no problem with other people’s opinions, even encourage them discuss them to keep up a lively conversation. Why do people always want to convert you to their beliefs? It’s like the only correct way to think is their way. I can’t stand that. For anyone who wants to know and gives a shit I’ve included a list of things that I believe personally, and no, if you feel differently I don’t care and I won’t be changing my opinion. I respect your opinion though, and am not going to argue with you or try to convert you to my way of thinking. This is fucking America after all.
1. I am a Democrat. A very liberal Democrat. 100%. This is not going to change.
2. I am pro-choice. There are too many women that shouldn’t be having children that are anyway.
3. I hate wine, I never will acquire a taste for it and do not desire to.
4. I will never be married again. NEVER. I don’t care who you know that would be “perfect” for me.
5. I don’t base people on the amount of education they have had, I base it on how well they can keep up a conversation. I’ve met many intelligent people with no degree, and many stupid ones that have one.
6. And to reiterate, I am a Democrat. A very liberal Democrat. 100%. This is not going to change. No matter how cute Mrs. Palin’s glasses are.