About Representative Bachmann……

I see from the pundits reports of the first Republican Presidential debate that the House member from Minnesota is considered one of the front runners in the coming election. It looks like she has stole Ms. Palin’s thunder. Maybe they will run together for the White House. Wouldn’t that be something to watch! ūüėČ

In a previous post I mentioned that the Republican Party is founded on four things: God, Guns, Guts, and Country. Here is a picture of Rep. Bachmann proudly combined all of those things. Her office door is plastered with a shooting rage target with many holes through the pictured torso. She holds an American flag containing a gun permit. And of course she is wearing a denim jacket to show the world that she is a “Sarah Palin” rouge. Some one on her staff probably spent weeks coming up with all the ideas for this picture.

The only thing missing from the picture is the God part. I heard the illustrious congresswoman is a graduate of Oral Roberts University so she’s got that one covered too. If any of you don’t know who ¬†Oral Roberts was here is my version of him. He was a popular tele-evangelist¬†in his day. When his television empire was imploding, like they all seem to do, he was forced to sell quite a bit of his properties including his Beverly Hills estate and his Palm Spring home along with several of his Mercedes cars. The poor guy only ended up with six houses to live in. I don’t know how he managed. I’m getting off track here….

So it is clear that Michelle, if I can call her by her first name, ¬†is properly aligned with ¬†the Tea Party wing of her party. But what I don’t see about her is that she really cares much about us simple folks. If she ever hopes to get my vote she needs to let the caring side of ¬†her religious upbringing come through. ¬†At some point she will have to get away from all that complaining and actually do something. ¬† But that would be pretty unusual for any politician now days.¬†When I look at this picture my hero a Will Rogers quotes comes to mind.

“Common sense is not an issue in politics, it’s an affliction”

It doesn’t look like the congresswoman has any afflictions in that area.

But what do I know….

The Rites of Retirement….

One of the rites of retirement is being able to take a vacation pretty much whenever you want.  Well, my wife and I want! We will soon be heading out for our Canada and New England trip. This one could take up to a month of our time. That is another privilege of retirement, we can take as long as needed.  We have a house sitter who will take care of our animals and such as long as we are gone.

We plan on going into Canada¬†via¬†Wisconsin and then traveling the interior to¬†Ottawa. Then up the St. Lawrence seaway to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Coming back we will go through New England to NYC for a visit to Ground Zero and then westward toward home. This is going to be one of our freestyle vacations in that we don’t have a day-to-day itinerary planned. My wife loves it that way; me not so much. So I have been sneaking in some plans for some of the major cities such as Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, and Charlestown.

On our last major trip in 2009 I pretty much blogged everyday. I can’t make that promise this time as I just don’t know when we will have internet connections and even if I want to take the time to do it. ¬†But I am an avid journal writer so it’s not much of an additional chore. I still refer to the blog entries (found here under “In The Slow Lane/On the Road” to remember our daily adventures on that one.

I took two years of french in high school but that was almost 50 years ago so I don’t think that will do me much good in Quebec. I know they are a pompous bunch in that city so even though they might know English they often stubbornly refuse to speak it there ūüôā .

So if you don’t see as many of my posts as usual you will know why. We think we are safe from winter storms being we are going in July but you never know. ¬†Yvonne, who packs for everything will probably put some blankets and such in our trusty HHR for this trip.

And the journey goes on….

It's Done

It’s Done… (but it’s never really done)

I finally completed the merging of five of my six blogs to this site! I hope you like what you find here. Don’t forget to bookmark this new blog and remove any of my old ones (I will not be closing them but they will no longer be updated). ¬†This will make my life a little simpler and make it easier for you to see all of what I have to offer in the blog world. I have also purchased one of the premium themes (Tapestry) to make your browsing a little more pleasurable. If you have any comments let me know. I welcome your input.

As the title says this work is done but it really never is done (at least for me). Being a retired IT guy I am always¬†tweaking¬†things to try to make them better.¬†Tweaking¬†and planning are just part of my ingrained nature ūüôā

I’m Getting Too Serious For My Own Good….

The Democrats take the whole thing as a joke. Republicans take it serious, but run it like it was a joke ¬† — Will Rogers

Some of my posts lately have just been too serious for my own good. I can feel my blood pressure rise as I am writing them. One of the main reasons for this blog is to have fun writing about things about things that deserve being poked. I thoroughly enjoy putting words to paper (or electronic ink in this case). But I just have to step back from some of the topics I choose to pursue.

But I need to take some lessons from my hero Will Rogers (that is his caricature to the right). One of Will’s most famous quotes was¬†I never met a fellow I didn’t like.¬†I need to keep that quote in mind with every post I put here.Will never dissed those he wrote about or he never took himself too seriously. I need to learn those lessons.

If I can’t poke some friendly jabs at the topic then I will move on to other subjects. Life is too short to get all upset about things happening around us. ¬†Particularly for us in our senior years. Let’s face it, beside for privatizing Social Security and Medicare most other topics will not be settled until after most of us seniors have already “met our maker”.

But all this talk doesn’t mean that I will quit poking fun at all my Republican friends. There is just too much material there to pass up. But I don’t intend to take them very seriously in anything they say anymore. None of them should either. ¬†The whole lot of them need to step back once in a while and laugh a little. It just seems that politics and humor go hand in hand. Always has and always will. ¬†A good portion of Will Rogers posts in the many newspapers of the time was about politics since I am trying to emulate him here I will likely do the same.

One other thing I am going to try to do is to always finish up a post with a quote from Will. Sometimes they will be related to the my post and sometimes not. I’m too lazy to always find a corresponding quote for the topic at hand. ¬†So here I come with my new improved “All I Know” postings. As part of this new, less serious, line I will also be moving this blog in with my others at RJ’s Corner. This will be the last post on this site so come on over to my corner of the blog world to see more about what I know.

But what do I know…..

Workers as Liabilities….

In the old days, I’m talking about pre-Reagan, a company’s workers were considered an asset but it seems like today they have turned into a liability. ¬†I read an article recently (I don’t remember the source right now so I can’t give it to you here ūüėČ ) that basically said that many companies can’t find adequately trained people to fill their jobs and won’t hire someone and then train them for that job. It seems they would rather complain about not having skilled workers than actually training someone to do the job.

I can almost remember when I was turned from an asset to a liability by the “major communications company” I worked thirty years for. Indeed it was in the early 1980’s. This was about the time that telecommunications was being deregulated by Mr. Reagan’s clan so I thought the change was a result of that action but looking back on it now it was a broader thing than just the deregulation. ¬†It was happening across U.S. industry.

What caused this to happen? Part of it was of course the Reagan White House. The guys he had around him never met a regulation that they thought was really needed or a company CEO they didn’t love and respect. We were all told that we should leave our future totally up to the benevolence of the corporate structures. They knew what was best for us and that was all we needed to know. Another part of this change was caused by the newly invented MBA degrees. That is “Masters of Business Administration”. All of the¬†professors¬†teaching at these schools had suddenly declared that “Greed is good” and that workers are liabilities.

With all these things coming to a head at the same time I was now treated like a cost that my company would rather do without but couldn’t figure out how to totally do that. ¬†Of course, I watched over the years as my wages became¬†stagnant, my benefits constantly shrink and my workmates constantly¬†disappearing¬†for one reason or another. Every time someone came up missing I was told I had to do “more with less”. ¬†Every time another benefit was taken away I was told it was to give me more “choices”. Those words became the mantra for the next 15 years until I was ¬†finally downsized and retired.

Will this type thing ever swing back to where the workers are treated with respect and given their fair share of the company profits? ¬†We can only dream of that day but I kind of doubt! Now instead of deregulation, Reagan, and the MBAs they blame it on globalization. It’s all the same thing; the company want to squeeze blood from you their turnips. As long as we let them nothing is going to change. ¬†Where is Norma Ray when we need her??

But what do I know….

Where To Live in My Senior Years…

A couple of posts ago I talked about how I chose to spend my fixed income in my senior years. One thing that has a huge effect on how I would spend my money was where I was going to live. When we chose to come back to Indiana for our final years this had a huge effect on our finances. Compared to California and many places within fifty mile of an ocean the hinterland is very affordable in deed. The house we have now is a renovated 1925 farm house that has been expanded to more than 2400 square feet. It sits on almost 2.5 acres of forested landscape. If we were to find a similar place in a higher expense area this house would easily cost four times more than what we paid for it. No we can’t drive to the ocean from here but when we did live so close to the Atlantic we seldom went there more than four or so times a year. I could easily spend the saved money going to a¬†luxury¬†hotel along the coast that many times a year and still have mucho left.

Sometimes I wish I could get away from the winters in the Midwest but my wife loves them so we will stay where we are. ¬†But really I do appreciate the change of seasons; they change my daily schedules. I do more writing and reading in the cold months and more lawn care in the hotter months. This keeps boredom at bay, at least for me. ūüôā One nice thing about being a retired senior in the winter months is that we can choose not to have to get out when the weather is bad.

What we choose to do with the extra thousands  and thousands of dollars is up to us. We have no heirs to leave our estate to even if we did wish to do that. So instead of locking our assets up into an overly expensive house due to where it is located we keep them more liquid to have fun in life.