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Archive for the ‘Finances’ Category

 

How many highs and lows can you cram in one week? I don’t know, but last week fate did its best to break a record.

 

 

 

Riverwalk, Sanford, FL

Riverwalk, Sanford, FL

 

 

Hannah in Antique Shop

Hannah in Antique Shop

 

Haley & The Dragon

Haley & The Dragon

Saturday, I prowled the nooks and crannies of antique shops in Sanford, FL with my granddaughters and daughter-in-law and let the cool breezes blow on us on the Riverwalk on Lake Monroe. Downtown Sanford is right on the water. Its beautiful old main street has been gussied up with charming restaurants and shops and is a great place to spend the day. What history lessons the “antiques” provide! Try it sometime with your grands. They’ll meet the first I Pod (78 rpm record player), manual cash register with pop-up numbers, embroidered tea towels grandmas made and put in a hope chest for their trousseau, and school desks with ink wells. You picture them in fifty or sixty years showing their grands antique stores with unrecognizable items such as flat screen TV’s, I Pods, I Phones, ear buds, and select furniture from Rooms to Go.

 

Two mornings later I’m on the phone to 911 before 7 a.m. Why do they try to keep you hanging on the line until six strapling EMTs are in the middle of your bedroom? Does anybody know? I finally told the lady I had to hang up and get some clothes on, and I did – just in time. I guess they are used to staying in contact when the caller is in the closet and Freddie Kruger is gassing up his chainsaw. But I had more important things to do than chat. The guys and girls got my husband breathing in seconds. We were totally impressed with them. We spent the better part of the day in ER, but were allowed to go home with promises to return immediately if the pneumonia worsened. I’ve been afraid to take my clothes off all week, but Jerry is better. My friend Abbe says the blonde medicine is working. 🙂

 

Highs and lows pretty much pinged around like a piston election night. Without anyone to really support, you would think some of the thrill would go out of the election, but no. It’s in our blood. I would like to nominate John McCain for best concession speech EVER. I had forgotten how gracious politics could be in the old days. Thanks for bringing that back, John, if only for a few minutes.

 

 

Mountain to Mole Hill --Someday

Mountain to Mole Hill --Someday

Cooler weather today was my cue to begin making a mole hill out of the mountain of wood chips the tree people dumped in our side yard for free. So I started this morning. I soon began to glisten and my muscles hinted at how they will feel tomorrow. I stepped back to see what must be a greatly reduced pile, and hoped I had enough. Take a look at the picture. Perspective. It’s all in the perspective. Up close it seemed I had chiseled away the size of the Grand Canyon.  At least I don’t have to do my yoga today for exercise.

 

To cap the week off, I checked our 401K. Am I ready for next week? I don’t know. Perhaps I’ll adopt the phlosophy of my friend Bob Buckman: The lower our accounts go, the less we have to lose. 

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MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics writer says Social Security checks are going up $63 a month for the typical retiree — the largest increase in more than a quarter century but likely to seem puny to the millions who have been watching in horror as Wall Street lays waste to their retirement nest eggs.

 

He goes on to say the Senior Citizens League said (doesn’t he believe them?) it did a study that indicated people 65 and over have lost 51 percent of their buying power since 2000, with the price of home heating oil and gasoline more than doubling since the beginning of the decade and such food staples as eggs and potatoes showing big increases as well.

 

Well, I guess seniors were the only consumers to face these increases for eggs and potatoes, heating oil and gasoline. How does that work? You’re under 65, you get a discount? Oh, I forgot. You get a discount all over the place if you are AARP age. Don’t forget 10% off Mondays at TJ Maxx, Tuesdays at Marshalls (or vice versa).

 

If Crutsinger has really taken the pulse of seniors, what a bunch of whiny, ungrateful, wrinkled old buzzards there are out there. We are talking 5.8% increase. How many younger workers do you know who got that kind of raise this year? (Excluding CEO’s of failed, bankrupt and bankrupting companies)

 

Yes, those felonious Wall Street crooks laid waste to retirement eggs, including ours, but who are we to expect hard working, young wage-earners to make up the difference? Their 401-K’s got battered, too.

 

So if you are a senior, stop your sissy, pathetic whining and enjoy your 5.8% raise by spending it where young workers who are contributing to the Social Security fund every working day will get a little benefit back. Maybe with the new money circulating around next year a few of their tedious, grinding jobs will be saved. It’s the least you can do.

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Ross Perot is b-a-c-k, and I’m glad. He’s back in the form of his famous charts at perotcharts.com.  When our eyes glaze over and our ears begin to tune out the canned, poll driven commercials there is a place we can go to fact check on the economy. Believe me, you aren’t getting the real story unless the facts happen to mesh with an agenda, purely coincidental. Take the time to scan the work Perot has done for you. Here is what some are saying about Perot and his site.

PerotCharts.com will help Americans understand the serious fiscal challenges facing our nation. These new electronic charts will also serve to hold elected officials accountable while accelerating needed actions to help ensure that our collective future will be better than our past.
Hon. David M. Walker
President and CEO, Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Former U.S. Comptroller General (1998 – 2008)

 

The facts speak for themselves in Ross Perot’s powerful website for all Americans. Runaway spending and a rising national debt will destroy America’s future as a great nation. As more of our debt is held by those in other countries, our political independence is put at risk by our economic dependency. We must act now!
David L. Boren – President Univ. of Oklahoma
Longest-serving Chair of the
U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee

Ross Perot is exactly right to echo Winston Churchill’s famous cry for “action this day” to rally the nation to reform our entitlement programs, end deficit spending, and balance the federal budget. Perotcharts.com contains information every citizen needs to know so we can demand real change to get the nation on the right track.
Newt Gingrich – General Chairman, American Solutions
for Winning the Future
; Former Speaker of the
U.S. House of Representatives (1995-1999)

Know the facts when presidential candidates promise you the moon. Perhaps you are just getting “mooned.” 

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What did you do before with the time you now spend on the computer? My husband sprang that question on me the other day and now I’m springing it on you. I do spend hours at this screen every day. I’d never thought about what I was doing before with my time. So here is my list of things I have given up or spend less time on:

 

  • TV—That’s the activity that has suffered the most and I don’t miss it at all. As a matter of fact, when I try to find something to watch while relaxing I wear my thumb out channel surfing. TV has gotten worse. My time is better spent on the computer for sure.
  • Shopping—I had to dig to come up with this one. Surely I did more than watch TV before, and I did. This revelation surprised me. Shopping used to be an enjoyable sport to me. Now what I don’t order online I save up to buy in one trip as quickly as I can. When did that happen and why? Who knows, but I see the UPS man more than a store clerk now no doubt.
  • Finances—I wrote checks by hand, balanced my checkbook (sometimes) and subtracted until the money was gone. Now Quicken shows my finances at a glance, bills are paid online, bank accounts handled the same way. I’ve saved money and time in this instance, and best of all kicked the little voice from the FUKOWEE Indian tribe. If you read Kurt Vonnegut I won’t have to explain that last one.
  • Writing fiction—This is the one downer. I realize my writing urges are being too satisfied with this blog, leaving my serious writing over in a corner somewhere.  

 

That is it as far as I can tell. I still exercise (biking, walking and yoga) though no longer at a club. I certainly read as much as ever, if not more. And photography? I take way more pictures now. The instant gratification of seeing them on screen or printed immediately enhances that activity. Now that I have pinpointed the one area I need to attend to, I plan to do just that. Of course, that will mean more time here on the computer. It all comes back to Big Hal, doesn’t it? 

 

What have YOU thrown aside or slighted for your relationship with the computer? How has it affected your life? Perhaps you have thought about it; I hadn’t. If computer is as big a part of your life as mine I think you should. I would really like to hear your views.

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