Saturday, March 12, 2016

5064 Resolution

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Maybe this world is another planet's hell.
– Aldous Huxley –


Wouldn't it be interesting if Trump supporters turn out to be the same folks who accused Obama of "dividing people"?


I need to get organized.  I think I have a bad case of internet addiction.  It's not unusual for me to spend the entire day online, reading articles, following links, looking stuff up, watching videos.  I get nothing else done.  

There are two classes of things I'm not getting done:
A.) Everyday household stuff like washing dishes, laundry, paying bills, vacuuming, sorting, filing, whatever, and 
B.) Things in furtherance of long-term goals, like getting out of the country house, rearranging things here so I can move furniture down, refiguring the budget so I don't need to depend on withdrawing principal now that I can (am forced to) use the IRAs, and so on.

I think the way to get moving is to commit to two from column A every day, and one or two (depending on complexity) from column B every week.

We'll see how long I can do that.  Having made the resolution on the drive home Thursday, I already failed yesterday.  


Friday, March 11, 2016

5063 I can't win

Friday, March 11, 2016

Social media has raised writing to a new low.


I'd been trying to get up to the country house for the past three weeks, but there was always somthun....  I was all ready to go this past Tuesday, but a big chunk of metal fell out from underneath the van onto the driveway.  I think it's the thingy that you're supposed to use for placing a jack, but until I find out how badly rusted things are under there, I don't trust the frame not to break in half on the NYS Thruway.  So I drove up Wednesday morning with the little car, and returned last night.

Didn't get a damn thing done up there, but that's ok.  I had a late lunch with Piper.  I fired him.  It's ok.  I think he's angry, and he thinks I'm making a mistake, but that's ok.  (What bugs me is that he seems to think he has done a wonderful job with my investments.  What he doesn't know is that I've kept track of my "pre-Piper" portfolio online, and if we had never touched that stuff, left it as it was, it would be 50%+ higher now, even considering what I have pulled out over time.  The trouble, the reason I went to him in the beginning, was that it was all oil companies, mining companies, technology, and chemicals.   I felt a need to diversify.  I guess I should have left it as it was.)

I got a late start returning, I knew I'd hit the end of rush hour traffic on the Garden State Parkway, but that's ok.  I wanted to be home by 8 if possible to catch Big Bang Theory, but if not I could watch it today on (which I did).  The GPS predicted an arrival time of 7:32. 

BUT!  There was an accident on the GSP.  After 25 minutes of creeping in the middle of the three lanes - 3mph for 3 car lengths, stop, wait, 3mph, stop, wait, repeat - I finally got to the point where I could see all the flashing lights way ahead.  By then there was no way I'd be home by 8:30, let alone 8, but at least I knew that my clutch foot would finally get some relief soon.  The BMW does NOT like moving at idle speed.  It took a lot of coordination between the clutch and gas to keep it from stalling.  My left foot was getting tired.

So, at one point I stopped after creeping at the usual 3 mph, and within less than a second after stopping, I got hit from the back.  Bonk.  The car jumped a little.

I had to move over through the right lane bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to the shoulder and find out what my bumper looked like, and that maneuver left me more shaken than getting hit did.  Amazingly, the huge white pickup who had hit me followed me over.  We couldn't see a damn thing, it being dark, but we started to trade info when a cop showed up out of nowhere and shooed us back into our vehicles.  He took our documents and info, said I could get an accident report at a certain website, and sent us back onto the road.

(And then, I got lost when I got off the Garden State onto what was supposed to be Rte. 9.  The GPS lady kept telling me to bear right on the exit, but I was still distracted and my left-right confusion kicked in so I very carefully went left and ended up on the NJ Turnpike headed north, exactly the wrong direction.  I ended up wandering through city streets to get back to route 9, near Newark, of all places.)

Today, in daylight, I got a look at the bumper.  There's a smear of white paint, and a star of hairline cracks all of maybe 2.5 inches by 2 inches.  It's near the backup sensor, so I don't know if that got messed up or not.

I called my insurance company today, I'll get some kind of appraisal on Monday, and then whatever comes next.

I'm almost embarrassed to make any noise about this.  If there's no hidden damage, then it's almost nothing.  On the other hand, it's NOT nothing and not my fault.  On the third hand, I know from an earlier incident that BMW doesn't like to repair plastic bumpers, and a replacement bumper will be over $1,000.   And the guy was so nice to follow me over to the shoulder.  He says he was hit from behind and pushed into me.  Whoever hit him just kept on going, and remains unidentified forever.  He could have done that, too.  This is NJ.  I'd almost expect him to have kept going.  I'd hate to be the one to make him regret pulling over.

Oh, well. 

Monday, March 07, 2016

5062 Not a Big Wheel

Monday, March 7, 2016

"Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties."
 – Doug Larson --


This has been a weird winter.  The kid cleared my driveway only once.  I put boots on only once.  I wore socks only maybe three days, and that was when I had a head cold.  I never even bothered to locate my gloves, and never took the really warm coats out of the closet.  The upstairs thermostat has needed new batteries since fall, but I haven't replaced them yet, which means I have no heat upstairs beyond what floats up the stairwell, but I never missed it.  Not even in the bath or shower.

I wonder what summer is going to be like.


I've been looking at the "old lady" 3-wheeled cycles online.  They're not at all expensive.  Of course, they don't have gears, either.  I don't know why not.  But then it's not like I'll be hill-climbing or racing, either.  They come with a nice big basket, too.

I'd love to get one, but I really don't have anywhere to conveniently store it here, and I know I won't use it unless it's easy to get out.  I guess I need a storage shed in the back yard first.

I have a (very! expensive!) bicycle with electric assist at the country house, but I'm not going to bring it down here.  I loved it.  There was a long hill from the main road up to the house, and the driveway was ridiculous, so although I could use it to go almost anywhere, I wouldn't be able to get back home without the assist.  The electric assist kicks in only on hills, to add power to pedaling, and it had a dashboard that would tell me when to shift.  BUT, even on the rural back roads up there, I was never comfortable, always a little bit afraid of falling into a ditch, or getting hit by a car.  And because of the fancy battery stuff attached to the gears, there was no way to add a big basket or trailer to the back, so it wasn't convenient for a run into the village.  So I used it a bit one summer just to tool around, and then it got parked in the garage.  I suspect the battery won't ever take a charge again, and it's probably too old now to get a new battery.  It weighed 70 lbs, but you never felt the weight while riding.  It was nice.

I won't have that fear of falling with a tricycle, and there aren't any real hills around here.


The Nugget has a bicycle, with training wheels, but I don't think she rides it much.  Maybe her mommy is afraid to let her on the streets.  I don't know.  I don't know if she's even learning.

I didn't learn to ride a bike by the usual means - where a parent runs behind holding the kid up.  That wasn't going to happen with my family.  I learned to ride a bicycle on a tricycle.

When I was in second grade, all the other kids were getting bicycles.  All I had was a big old tricycle (back when they had the high seats and metal frames).  I was able to keep up with the other kids on my trike --- until the day one of the rear wheels fell off.  (I even remember, it was the right rear.)

I didn't let that stop me. I didn't want to be left out completely.  I tilted the tricycle over sideways, and rode it on two wheels!

It wasn't that difficult, and when I finally got a real bicycle, two real wheels, straight up, were easy.


Ok.  Trump.  People are either worshiping him or making fun of him.  There's nothing in between.  But I've been wondering howcom nobody's making fun of the things that tickle me?

Like, they comment on the Cheetos-tanned skin, but howcom nobody mentions the heavy white concealer around his eyes?  That's not from wearing those eyecups in the tanning bed, those cups are tiny and cover just the upper and lower lids.  That's white concealer.  No, it doesn't make you look younger.  It makes you look like you're trying to look younger.

They comment on the outrageous things he says (and then denies saying), but howcom nobody noticed that he says everything with duck lips?  I can't watch him talk.  His mouth makes me cringe.

Jay and his father never went to a barber or hairdresser.  Jay's mother cut everyone's hair, then when Jay went to college he simply didn't cut it between trips home, and then Jay's ex cut his hair, and then I took over.  When Jay's mother died, his father cut his own hair himself, by combing it all to the back of his neck and cutting with scissors straight across the back (sometimes a bit too high).  One cut.  Done.

People make fun of the front of Trump's hair.  Howcom nobody mentions the back and sides?  Trump's hair looks just like Jay's father's hair did, like he combs it all to the back and cuts straight across (and a bit too low).  He has millions; surely he can afford a stylist?  He has a fashionable wife; she has no input?

He, or his business ventures, have declared bankruptcy several times.  When asked about that, he insists it's no failure, bankruptcy is a legitimate business tactic, a tool he has used.  Everybody says, oh, yeah, um.  Howcom nobody has pointed out that there's something unethical about screwing people out of money you owe them just because you can, just because of bookkeeping technicalities, when you are personally capable of paying what is owed?  Even if it IS legal to screw them?

Sigh.  This is what it has come to. I'm nasty.  Tsk.