Money Matters – That Sinking Feeling

So here it is, the 1st of the month, again. You’ve got the rent to pay, most of the utilities, and a couple of credit cards. and let’s not forget food, because ya gotta eat.

But your paycheck isn’t nearly enough.

Feel that? Your stomach wrenching up, your head tightening and starting to throb? It’s not fun by any means, and it’s not good for your overall health either.

So what’s the best way to get rid of those feelings? You need to follow a plan to financial freedom.

And let’s not delude ourselves into thinking this is a fanciful way of “getting rich quick” or winning the lottery. It is possible to get out of debt without some divine miracle stepping in.

You have to be logical, methodical, and most importantly – you HAVE to have a plan.

Start small, pay off your smallest debts first, then work up from there. It might seem like a daunting task, but it can be done. Time to take the first step……

How do you eat an elephant? - Third Sector Lab

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Money Matters – What Are You Afraid Of?

It seems there are some folks that are actually afraid to pay off their bills and get out of debt. Read that sentence again and let it sink in, before reading any further.

Some of them are actually great at paying bills and juggling money. They have to be, because they just don’t have enough.

But a lot of folks are not good jugglers. They borrow from Peter to pay Paul, juggle credit card balances, and (hopefully) get by just one more more month.

They’ve been in debt for so long that this is the only way they know how to live. They work 5 days a week, pay their bills, and just get by another day, just to go back to work. It’s a vicious cycle of rinse & repeat and yet they don’t want to stop it; mostly because they don’t know HOW to stop it.

They are paying for their life in arrears because they can’t think in a forward direction. They are not futurists and to get ahead in life, financially, you have to think like a futurist. You HAVE to plan ahead, to HAVE to save for a rainy day, to HAVE to invest towards your retirement; because no one else is going to do it for you.

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1969 Charger 383

There are not many cars that I buy specifically to “flip” for a profit; mostly because I’m a lousy salesman, but more so, I don’t believe in capitalism. This (unfortunately) was an exception to my rule….

I picked this one up from a local tow yard for $2K, which was everything I had at that time, including the rent money! Flipped it on Ebay for a quick $4500. Come to find out the buyer was purchasing as many Chargers as he could and was sending them down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to be used in the “Dukes of Hazard” remake movie.

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Book Report: The Most Dangerous Superstition

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this book. Maybe it was one of my friends that recommended it or maybe was related to another subject I was interested in. Whatever the turn of events was to get me to read this book, I’m very happy I found it.

Many times I’ve told other folks to “think outside the box” or to “think of the bigger picture”. With all my writings over the years, I’ve only just scratched the surface regarding the question of “Exactly how fucked up is this world?”.

I’ve talked about how religion was invented as a way to control mankind.

I’ve railed time and time again about how capitalism divides us in numerous ways.

And of course politics is a HUGE divider of people.

But in this book, the writer “Larken Rose” pulls together so many smaller ideas into one, large, global problem that seems to be the root of all of the others. Much like the “unifying theory of everything” that pulls together so many theories from physics, quantum mechanics, and general relativity, this book shows “the REALLY BIG picture” that affects nearly everyone on this planet.

It does not matter what direction you lean politically, or what religion you believe in (or even if you don’t believe), or if you support capitalism or not; the vast majority of the people unknowingly support their own enslavement by way of believing in this one superstition.

I’m not going to spoil the surprise, you’re just going to have to read the book.

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33 years is a long enough wait

Memorial Day weekend, 1988, my girlfriend (at the time, soon to be ex-wife) and I were visiting her mother who was in Grants Pass, Oregon at the time. It was a drizzly weekend, and we had a rental car, so we decided to take a day trip and run up to Crater Lake. Part way up the hill, the weather changed to snow and by the time we got to the top, it was a full-on blizzard. We popped into the gift shop and surprised the employee, who remarked “Where the hell you’d come from??” We said good-bye, peeked over the edge (visibility was about 5 feet), did a few dough-nuts in the parking lot, and got the hell outta there.

Over the years, I’ve passed through Oregon and always wanted to stop by Crater Lake, but just never did. Always busy, running from one place to another.

Fast forward to 2021, I’m remarried, and our dog suffers from anxiety from loud popping noises, such as fireworks. Every year we find someplace quiet to go visit and this year I decided to get an AirBNB room in southern Oregon. It was a beautiful home on a quiet street, which is exactly what we wanted for the 4th of July. We spent one day and ran up the hill to visit Crater Lake.

The park was pretty busy, so finding a parking spot was quite a challenge. We ended up making the 33 mile drive all the way around the rim, stopping at several points for a scenic look and some pictures.

On our way out, we stopped by the gift shop and I got a “pressed penny” to add to my collection. It was a long wait, but well worth it.

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Why is Bill so Grumpy?

I’ve been asked this question so many times, it’s rather upsetting. Sure, there are times that I’m upset about something, but I don’t make it a habit. (I am allowed to be upset, when it’s actually warranted, right? ………)

I’m old …. 56 years now and who knows where they all went. I certainly don’t have 56 years worth of memories to look back upon. Spose – I’m Awesome – YouTube

I’m overweight…. It’s only 30 pounds or so, but it’s enough to make me uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. But it doesn’t bother me enough to get off my fat ass and exercise. Allan Sherman’s “Overweight People” (“Over the Rainbow”) – YouTube

I’m tired… Take the first 2 points that I’ve written about, add them together, then factor in being a mechanic, and of course I’m tired. Multiply that by not getting a good night’s sleep (most nights) and now you’re starting to understand how I feel. Ten Interesting Facts About The Beatles I’m So Tired – YouTube

I seem to have a “resting bitch face”… Just because I’m not smiling ear-to-ear with a shit-eating grin does NOT mean I’m mad. In fact, people who smile all the damn time annoy me. Most people on TV, especially the news shows, are *always* smiling, because it’s their job to smile, especially while telling you something bad. “It’s going to be 109 degrees today, stay cool! 🙂 ” Oh, go fuck yourself, would ya. That’d be great. The Resting Bitch Face Monologue – YouTube

I’m sexually frustrated… Who isn’t right? It’s very natural for your sex life to slow down as you get older, and quite frankly, we’re older. And this isn’t a dig against my wife, honest. What I’m talking about is sex in general – It’s really been quite a let-down when compared to how it’s advertised to be. Sex sells and advertisers know this, so they use it in ways to grab your attention, and to get you feeling all warm inside….. about their product. But the act of sex itself is usually not all that it’s cracked up to be (no pun intended). It exists as a wonderful thing …. in our mind.

I’m in debt… And the rest of my family does not see this as a HUGE hurdle that WE MUST get over. IMMEDIATELY. Yes, you might be quite content to “make ends meet” for one more month, but I’m not. I can see, plain as day, how our financial burden is holding us back. It’s limiting our ability to do things that we want to do. It’s a STRANGLEHOLD, and everyone who believes in capitalism wants us to STAY in debt. I’m in debt up to my eyeballs… – YouTube

I have no retirement fund… I made the (incorrect) assumption that when I got old I’d have a pension of some sort. But pensions are a thing of the past, done away by capitalism’s ever reaching grip to drag more cash out of your wallet, from every direction. I’m 55 with Zero Saved for Retirement! – YouTube

I’m depressed… For me, writing was recommended as a form of “therapy”; a way to get all those ideas out of my head. And while it works in that respect, it does NOT work to *actually solve* any of the problems that cause me to have those thoughts. It might, if the people that I write about (1) read my posts, and (2) changed their ways based on my writing. But so far, I see no evidence of that ever happening. Maybe I need medication.

I’m sleep deprived … Between the sleep apnea, my wife’s snoring, MY OWN SNORING, the Animal Conspiracy, and a variety of other things, I’m lucky to get 6 hours of sleep at night. Who wouldn’t be grumpy, given this situation?

The older I get, the less willing I am to put up with other people’s stupidity… And yes, THIS is the big one. My parents taught me “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all“, which is a really nice way of saying “SHUT THE FUCK UP!!” Well, I’m tired of shutting up, I’ve had it up to *HERE* listening to everyone else, and quite frankly, I’m done being Mr. Nice Guy.

NETWORK, Sidney Lumet, 1976 – I’m Mad As Hell and I’m Not Gonna Take This Anymore! – YouTube

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Money Matters – The Shortest Distance Between Two Points is a Straight Line

It’s one thing to say “Live below your means and pay off your debts”. It’s another thing to actually do it.

Life has many ways of distracting us from getting to a goal. Sometimes those distractions are innocent parts of our lives and sometimes they are nefarious rabbit holes that we (everyone) need to avoid.

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What I do, most days

Just over 3 years ago I made a post saying I was the “Fuckin’ New Guy” at a shop. It’s been an interesting 3+ years, an adventure that continues with a variety of diesel related puzzles.

One of the things we do is to refurbish and remount older service beds onto newer chassis, thanks in part to a new law from The California Air Resources Board, which says that large diesel truck’s smog equipment will “age out” after a certain number of years.

So we strip down an older truck, remove the bed, send it out to be sand blasted & painted, then reassemble it on a brand new chassis. Refurbishing includes all new hydraulic hoses, check/repair/replace wiring harnesses as needed, new beacon, new crane cord reel, anti blocking switch, new stickers, door handles and wheel lips, new exterior lights & reflectors, new cabinet lights (LED strips), and new LED exterior work lights.

Sometimes the customer will upgrade the truck with a Miller Enpak system or convert an older crane to proportional controls.

When we are done, the truck performs like a new truck and at a substantial cost savings to the customer.

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Test Your Gullibility

Whether or not “Covid-19 is real” is one question. Whether or not it’s the “killer virus” that it’s advertised to be is a completely different question.

And whether or not you’re willing to comply with the new rules is yet another, separate, question.

Simon says “Put on your mask”, right….?

Why are small stores not allowed to be open, yet big stores (like Walmart) have remained open the entire time?

And why do some stores wipe down everything the customer touches, yet other stores don’t wipe down anything? (Again, looking at you Walmart) It’s almost like they are not following cleaning protocols…..

Why was Pick & Pull able to be deemed as “Essential services“, thus remaining open for business? It’s a junkyard!!

Why is it OK to not wear a mask while you’re eating? Obviously you need to open your mouth to put food in, but why not keep your mouth covered at least while you’re chewing? Afterall, Covid-19 is a “killer“, right?

How to eat food while wearing a mask? - Times of India

Why can’t restaurants have indoor dining yet they can have tents set up outside, enclose them with tent walls, add lighting & heat, and serve food like normal?

Abraar Karan on Twitter: "this whole outdoor dining in plastic indoor tents  thing is now a meme… "

If masks work, then why keep 6 feet of separation? If 6 feet of separation works, then why wear a mask?

Smart pigeon | Social Distancing | Really funny memes, Funny memes about  girls, Funny memes tumblr

Why aren’t homeless people dying in great numbers? They live in close proximity to each other and they don’t have medical programs.

Volunteers distribute respiratory masks to the homeless in Oakland –  Oakland North

Why have some people taken all of these rules to the extreme point of wearing a mask in their car, while they are alone?? Are you afraid of catching the virus from yourself??

Coronavirus outbreak: Should you wear a mask while driving your car? | The  Times of India

According to the CDC:

It’s been over a year now and I’m still wondering….. why aren’t the dead bodies piling up in the streets? Early there were reports of bodies sitting in 18-wheeler trailers, but it should have gotten worse as time passed. With all this hype, you’d think it was a scene from Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”….

Here in Sacramento, the old Arco Arena was set up as a covid hospital, but only had 13 patients.

Two navy hospital ships were made ready, but again, were not needed.

And why have other types of illnesses dramatically dropped since the beginning of Covid-19? Did the common cold and flu just go away?

Just this week, 2 states have said that they are finally dropping all mask restrictions. If the virus is real, those states should see a dramatic increase in cases very quickly. Right?

Now ……. what would you say if I told you this was all fabricated, a ruse, a ploy against the entire population of the planet? And it’s obviously working, because a recent survey says many people will continue to wear a mask even after the pandemic is done.

In the end, it seems just about everything possible was attributed to Covid-19, because it gets more funding. And THAT’S what the bottom line really is.


gullibility test Memes & GIFs - Imgflip
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Money Matters: Plastic Surgery

Tonight I made a leap forward. No, I didn’t “go under the knife” as the title of this post might imply; instead I made a leap forward in my quest for financial freedom – I cut up 2 credit cards.

How to Close Your Credit Cards

It might not seem like much, especially since both cards already had zero balances, but for me it’s the mental switch that’s important here. I know I’m mostly prudent when it comes to my finances, but I also don’t want to have credit cards sitting available. The temptation of having them is a big factor as to why I, like so many people, continue to be in debt. Credit is easy, too easy in fact.

You don’t give an alcoholic a drink, you don’t leave knives on the kitchen counter when children are around, so why would you have credit just sitting there if your goal is to get OUT of debt?

And I still have 1 other credit card (currently with a balance near $4K), so it’s not like I’m going “cold turkey” when it comes to credit. This change also gives me the opportunity to focus my efforts at paying that card off. Sure, many folks (including Dave Ramsey) would argue that the best way to dealing with credit cards is to cut ALL of them up IMMEDIATELY, and never look back. I’m sure this approach is much like ripping off a Band-Aid; if you do it quickly, the pain won’t linger as long. And there is some value in that approach, but I’m not into inflicting pain by any method, so I’ll quietly avoid it whenever possible.

My wife made the classic argument that if I left the cards open (with a zero balance) then it would help improve my credit score. She has a point, that is, if I wanted to try to improve my credit score. Your credit score is a measurement of how well you manage debt. I’m trying to get OUT of debt and I already know that my credit score will actually go *down* because of my efforts, and that’s OK.

It’s been a long time since I could taste the freedom of financial independence, but dammit, I want it back!


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