The Fix

It is our policy to shy away from political material, it is usually explosive, always leads to some kind of flaming and unruly discourse, but I found this email we received this week kind of interesting.  It is political in nature, so be advised.

So we are breaking with tradition and skirting the arena of American politics this morning.  As always, the comment section is open, if you feel the need, let it go.

America is such a grand experiment, it is so nice to think that this once great country could rebound from our present lousy situation and once again be in the forefront of the good life.

Jury is still out on that one, there are some schools of thought that believe the glory days are over, and it appears that if we don’t solve our problems, and soon, they are going to be our demise.  In typical American fashion we tend to “throw money at our problems, hoping to solve them” instead of rolling up our sleeves and dealing with the issues.

One of the more interesting emails we received this week, was this one.  It is called “The Fix.”

It was supposed to have been written from the viewpoint of a senior or retired person.  As it was presented to me it was from a senior citizen around 80 yrs. of age.    It also had the following notation:  We aren’t useless yet.

Ironically, it carries the very same message, “throw money at everything” and that will be the common denominator to the problem.  It must be ingrained in the American psyche or something?  This piece or idea was spawned by a recent article in the St. Petersburg, Fl. Times.  The business section of that paper asked readers for ideas on: “How Would You Fix the Economy?”  The email went on to explain … I think this guy nailed it!  (Which I think is kind of debatable)

Dear Mr. President,

Please find below my suggestion for fixing America ‘s economy. Instead of giving billions of dollars to companies that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the “Patriotic Retirement Plan”

There are about 40 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million apiece severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire. Forty million job openings – Unemployment fixed.
2) They MUST buy a new AMERICAN car. Forty million cars ordered – Auto Industry fixed.
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed.
It can’t get any easier than that!!
P.S. If more money is needed, have all members in Congress pay their taxes.  Mr. President, while you’re at it, make Congress retire on Social Security and Medicare. I’ll bet both programs would be fixed pronto!
(At this point is the almost always present “Pass This On” to all your friends, etc, etc)


Okay!  Uh wait a minute, back the truck up.  Oh, if it were just that simple, eh?  Unfortunately we do not live in this kind of world anymore, we have the elected elite and they are not interested in what we have to say about any of this.  Past experience has clearly shown us that throwing large sums of money at a problem, never makes it go away.  Ethanol fuel … does that ring a bell, anyone?  Anyone?  Six billion a year to corn farmers, nothing for the economy or the environment.

Now let’s look closely at this modern day solution to our dilemma.  Of the forty million, there are surely those in the workforce who are NOT going to want to retire, they love their jobs, they love what it is they are doing and they are firmly entrenched into the daily routine. I retired early (before fifty) and I can assure you, there were times in my life, when I would have paid $1,000 to have a job to go to, it got that bad.  But I eventually learned to adjust to it and moved on.

As for the 40 million replacements, who is going to train them to fill the vacancies, the experienced hands just took the money and ran.

Giving people money is no real fix, not all people will respond in the same fashion, some will spend it and others will “sock it away for a rainy day.”  Most people of that age group have a house that is already paid for and could care less about buying a new home, it is the younger set that needs the housing.  Those folks just starting out in life currently are the people who need a hand up, the middle class is pretty much screwing the pooch now.

About the only thing that truly seems workable in all of this, could be the part about putting Congress on a diet with their unsatisfiable lust for pay raises and the medicare issue. 

But you know and I know, that dawg just aint gonna hunt.

It is a nice thought, a quick easy way to claw our way out of the hole and get back on solid ground.  Maybe we can talk the government into printing some MORE money to back this plan.  Now here is the reality, where the other shoe drops, “there isn’t any kind of quick fix.”  Like Ronald Reagan said, “Ask yourself, are you any better off than you were four years ago?”

Have a great weekend.


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Let Me Have A Shot At It

200170608-001Yesterday during lunch a buddy of mine and I started talking about the Lottery and those unfortunate souls who play it and never seem to win, even though they hit the huge payday.

Most lottery winners are bankrupt within five years of a major payout.  Kind of incredible.  Which somehow, led me to this post this morning, the old “What if I won the lottery gambit” a game of chance that few of us will ever win.

I suppose when you purchase a ticket that gives you the right to sit around and fantasize about how it would be to have all that money, and what it is that you can do with it.  Most lottery jackpots provide an incredible amount of chump change for someone to distribute in this day and age, like everyone else, that is why I buy the ticket,  I would like a shot at it.

Most likely, I will do as others before me have done.  I am going to rush out and fill my every need (whim) and I am not going to wait, I am going to do it immediately.  What is it they say online … you have five items in your shopping cart … Well, with that kind of coin, you could definitely fill your cart.

My desire is not to be stinking rich, no that is not me, but I wouldn’t mind smelling bad, that would be okay.

First thing I am going to purchase is two years at one of them 14th century English castles with a full staff.  Filling the place with enough Yorkshire pudding and fresh mutton for several hundred friends and relatives, which would cost a little bit extra.  Now you are saying to yourself, “don’t be ridiculous, no one has that many relatives and friends.”

True.  But when you win the lottery, you will be surprised at how quickly your immediate family and social calendar will grow.

For a butler I could hire that Robbin Williams guy, who was on the Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous, with a voice so incredibly loud, that wild animals stampeded just at the sound of his answering the front door.

That would be about $1.5 million I suppose.

How about some vintage wine, right now I am drinking something out of South America called Sweet Bitch, I could move up to some better stuff.  I could order at least 100 cases of Romanee-Conte vintage (1985) or in other words, a truck load of the best that France has to offer.  $4.1 million.  Cruise around in John Lennon’s Rolls Royce Phantom V.  You still may not understand “I am the Walrus” but you will appreciate the smooth ride.

About 6 miles per gallon and $6 million tops.

How about a bluff top Malibu estate, where you could sip bottled water and look down on the movie stars.  Seven fireplaces, nine and one-half bathrooms (you never own bottled water, you just rent it) a little weekender to entertain your friends.  $6.9 million and if it slides into the Pacific, you just back up an acre and build again.  It is the California thing to do.

T-Rex skull to hang over the mantle in the living room, impress your new found friends, $8.3 million (this is a rare find).  State of the art roller coaster in the backyard, about $15 million, two tracks, zero to 100 mph in seven seconds, 250 ft drop, free barf bags, and best of all …. No lines.  How about your very own private island?  3,000 acres in the South Pacific, Marlon Brando is your closest neighbor, about ten miles away.

Plumbing, air strip for the Lear jet, extra.  $10 million.

Half a share of a Boeing business jet (we don’t want to buy the entire plane, that would be wasting our money, better to have a partner … I am thinking Britney Spears here … No Paula Abdul) about $20 million.  Never fly First Class again, you can keep your shoes on when you get to the airport, and best of all, the bedroom circular bed acts as a flotation device!

Get out the checkbook, we are not through yet, just getting warmed up.  A diamond studded watch from Switzerland, $25 million.  Buy enough gold to make the necklace around Mr. T. look like a starter set.  Picasso still-life portrait.  Maybe $30 million and you get to bid against the people who made all their money the “hard way” (WORKING FOR A LIVING) at Christies Southerby House in London.

Just walk away from the house and move to Sacramento California so you can run for the Governor’s seat, he is sure to be leaving soon $32 million.  It costs a lot to buy a seat in politics any more, you all know that.  About $40 million relatively speaking.

This is chump change, when you think of what it is you can steal later on, when you move up to the Big Show in Washington DC..

How about a “Sports Professional” ever want to own one of those?  Texas Ranger for about $252 million and you could play catch in the backyard.  Let’s see … 80 cents every second, $47.89 per minute, $2,876.71 per hour, $69,041.10 per day ….. Hey, do the math, we are talking some big bucks here.

If none of this turns you on, how about a wonderful, fun-filled weekend on a cruise liner with Carrie Underwood?  $200 million.  Blue skies, crystal clear water, you can sing Toby Keith’s “If they could see me now” from the 12th deck of your 490 plus passenger ship (remember you now have all these new friends and family).

It might be a little extra if you want to take old cranky Willie Nelson along.

As I am somewhat of a realist, I know that if I did win this large sum of money, it would behoove me to improve my image in the community, buy some new threads and work on my low self esteem.  On most Mondays I sometimes feel akin to a 3 foot tall, poverty-stricken, homophobic, handicapped, sixty-year old Muslim Republican campaign worker with learning disabilities

It would take a LOT OF MONEY to fix that.

So there it is in a nutshell.  “I am going to blow it all on wine, women and song” … and the rest of it … well, I am just going to fart it off.

Have a good week … or don’t … It is still your choice.


Feeding The Monster

Recently I read an interesting piece and it said that blogs that have visitors in the range of 3,000 per day, are capable of generating $75,000.00 per year in revenue. This would mean you would have a minimum of 100,000 people coming to your site yearly, and advertisers consider that a “gold mine” the article went on to explain that they would pay you handsomely for the privilege of adding you to their fold.

My neighbor Donna is on me all the time, “Why don’t you put up ad’s on your site, you are missing out on a lot of money.” I have a friend in the Seattle, Washington area that tells me that I should actively seek out a newspaper for a daily column. My brother-in-law has mentioned in passing that I am “squandering my gifts” and that I should be doing something “worthwhile” with my talents.  

And if I had a dime for every person who has told me that “I should write a book” well …… I’d have enough bus change to take me to Cleveland, Ohio, to the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. All in all, no shortage of folks determined to see that I embark on a new lifestyle and/or career choice late in life.

But as with all things, there are problems.

First there is more to life than money, sure people will tell you that you are nuts if you explain it that way, but it is true. Jack Benny once said, when asked if he thought he was going to heaven or not, “If I cannot take my money with me, then I don’t want to go there.” Some people say “money will not buy happiness” and others will tell you, “they are shopping in the wrong places.”

Money won’t buy you happiness by a long shot, it will however buy you a better class of friends.

There is a lot more to life than money, money will for instance, buy you a fine dog, but only love will make him wag his tail. Money isn’t everything. But we were talking about bloggin … I digress. When you hire out, then you have to give in. Then there are things called “deadlines and editors” and both I can barely tolerate and most of the time, absolutely hate.

Both are a pain in the part of you that goes over the fence last. I don’t need an editor telling me “that you cannot write that, or this is not acceptable” and I am low maintenance, I surely do not need another deadline in my life. If you write it, then it ought to be “yours” and you should have final say so on the piece. Some people call this “artistic freedom” or “creative control.”

You cannot take something from someone (money or wages) and maintain “control” you are always asked to give up something in return. This is why I can never understand the concept of lobbyists taking elected officials out and picking up the tab for everything, and then these very same people saying ….. “Aw, they are swell guys, and they do not expect anything out of me in return.”

Yeah, sure.

So I suppose you could make a lucrative living from this sort of thing, a few people could, but in the end, it is going to take a lot of hard work. This may appear to some as easy but let me clue you in, it isn’t. Technorati, says that popular blogs make big bucks, thanks to Google, ad networking, and search-based advertising on the net.

But there is always the ever present catch, the hammer to speak, and that is production. You have to produce, almost daily, something worthwhile, interesting, different and often amusing, to develop what I call a readership.

You are feeding the monster; you are supplying it the material to drive traffic to the site. Not an easy nut to crack on any given day of the week. Often variety is hard to find, a good idea, has already been taken, someone beat you to the punch or it has been posted before.

Now cruise around the net and take a look at what is out there, plenty of examples of what NOT to do can be found. In the wrong mind, this media tool can lead to endless top 10 lists, favorite things, recycled ideas, half-baked cock-eyed notions, tons of viral images/video’s, and for lack of a better word, massive information pollution.

While there are certainly a great many bloggers “plenty of people on the internet that are posting at best dubious worthless or annoying garbage the one’s (writers or hacks, bloggers) with real staying power are those who can find a way to balance “fast-food type posts” along with a well crafted article now and then that will keep readers coming back.

The experts say the short rapid fire piece works the best, something I have never been able to master myself. But then again, I am not in it for the money, I do this for fun. It is illegal after all in my state to run over politicians (jay-walking or not), and they will not allow me to carry an exposed firearm (I don’t have the thirty-nine bucks for the permit, just bought gas).

So I use this forum to vent … and sometimes … Amuse

I tried working for “the other guy” and I didn’t really care for it. So I don’t know what to tell people who have it all figured out for me, what I should or should not do, I just know this. My fame is vapor and my riches take to wings, only one thing in this life endures, and that is character. Tell it like it is, throw it out on the porch and see if the cat will lick it up, run it up the dog-gone flagpole and see if anyone salutes it … Then you might have a winner.

You do that, and you will pick up a readership. And above all remember … Money is just an aphrodisiac which fate brings you to cloak the pain of living … William Powell …Finally, I don’t ever see me getting stinkin’ rich from writing this thing, but I sure wouldn’t mind smelling bad one of these days.


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