Saturday, December 31, 2011

Key Word for 2011 - LESS

I sit here, on New Years Eve, reading all of the hype on the year, 2011.

They are all talking about how; "X" is better, "B" is worse, "C" is no longer important, and "D" is the new thing to watch.
You can fill in your own definitions for X, B, C, and D.

They may be a little different depending on your own personal lifestyle, but regardless, they are the hot topics.

Well, as a retiree, with, essentially, frozen assets and income, the big thing for me, is the word LESS!

Yeah, sure, I have a pension and SS checks, along a little savings in IRA's, but they are not growing, like my assets did when I was working.

Now they are shrinking

Consider the following facts:
1- SS and Medicare got no increases for the last two years, regardless of the fact that EVERYHING went up in price during the same time, like, food, clothing, labor.

2- Congress tacked one of their "screw the retirees" acts to a budget bill, that increases the cost to the retiree for SS and Medicare for 2012 and 2013 that will be devastating for those of us that are just getting by.

3- We have an economy that, with 2012 being an election year, will be manipulated heavily by both political parties to either; look Good (democrats) or Bad (Republicans).  That will be their sole purpose in pretty much everything that they do; Win the Elections!

Meanwhile, we retirees are; eating cheaper, wearing our old clothes longer, cutting back on entertainment, and pulling more and more from our savings to get by.

On the news yesterday, they stated that the Poor and Low Income people of our country now account for over 40% of the population. while, of course, the Middle Class has shrunk, yet again.

Filter out the B.S. and what they told us that there are LESS people making as much as in the past. Which in turn, means that there are more people that are paying LESS or NO taxes, to support the Federal spending machine.

What is the Congressional reaction? Let's cut benefits! That is B.S. plain and simple.

If you want to increase tax income, then you need more people making more money.

This is not rocket science, just simple economics.

If you raise my taxes, I will have less to spend, thus, I will have less to support other service industry workers,  thus reducing the work force even more.

Anyway, I will stop here with my Rant.

2011, it has been the year of LESS.

And if the idiots in Congress don't get off their partisan Ass' by the end of 2012, we, the people, and specifically the retirees, will have even LESS!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why can't the Pictures in ADs be Real?

A typical fastfood cheeseburger
Fast Food Cheeseburger pic by AlishaV via Flikr

As I get older, I become more and more irritated with the freedoms we have allowed the advertisement industry to lie and delude us with ads that are so blatantly false that it is almost a joke.

Click below to read my rant on these people.

Why can't the Pictures in ADs be Real?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Congressional ZOMBIES

Finally, A new name for Congress that fits! 

Congressional ZOMBIES, the Walking DEAD in DC! Oh My!

Yes, that's right, the title fits them perfectly. 
They may as well be labeled as some version of the popular movie genre. 
They stumble randomly around Washington.
They make stupid and unintelligible sounds.
They cannot really communicate with each other or the public.
They have only one thing on their minds, their personal appetites, and they are single-minded in satiating their appetites..
They have no cares or concerns about those of us that they are trying to destroy.
Once fed what they want, they just move on to the next political catastrophe to initiate.

So,that must be where that awful smell in DC is coming from? Their rotting ideas?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Congressional Super Committee - What a Joke!

Super Committee pic by DonkeyHotey via Flikr

Yes, What a Joke.
When cowards get together and need a way to cover their A**, especially political cowards, they form a Committee.

Then the Committee can meet, behind closed door of course, and just DO NOTHING.

Well, it looks like the fools in Washington have done it again.

They are already admitting that they have no agreement and expect none on the Budget fiasco, so "don't blame them!"

Don't blame them for what, you might say?

Well,don't blame them for the automatic changes that will devastate our Social Security and Medicare systems in America, and go into effect, in 2013.

THEY didn't do it to all of us!

Nope it was done by Congress a few months ago when they passed their TEMPORARY bailout.
Get ready people, Here it comes!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Retired Silverback

Silverback pic by Derek Keats via flikr

A Retired Silverback

This Hub is my story of what I saw coming with my career as I aged and the resultant plans I made and implemented to assure my retirement, on my conditions.

Auto Service the Big Money Maker

Auto by Don Bobbitt

Auto Service the Big Money Maker

This Hub recounts my experience when I took my car to a dealer for a battery replacement and they tried to "high Pressure" me into purchasing other repairs, many of which were unnecessary.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Medicare for Illegal Immigrants

Today, the Senate approved an extention of Medicare Benefits for Disabled ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.
So, its becoming more clear to me why my oountry cant afford to pay for my Medicare!
Just who sets these priorities in our country where the citizens are a lower class than the non-citizens?

My Best Cheeseburger! Ever!

Tasty Cheeseburger
My Best Cheeseburger! Ever!

This is a link to my HubPage article about a childhood experience of mine.

It recounts the time when I ate my most memorable CHEESEBURGER of my life.

It is a pretty good read, and I really think you will enjoy the story.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Minor Adjustments to my SS and Medicare?

I watched our president on TV today. And I tried to listen to the whole thing.

Really! I Tried! I tried very hard!

But, everyone, it seems, is off and running for Office or Reelection, and he is no exception.
He went On, and On, and On.

The republicans beat him up! He beats them up! They beat him up! He beats them up again!

Anyway, he did drop one of his little Bombs on us while speaking that I caught.

He, the democratic "defender of the Faith, and the Little Man"  said that his proposal for the Budget now includes some minor adjustments to Social Security and Medicare!

Well, There you have it. some Minor changes!

I gues that it's now Ok for both parties to make either Some minor adjustments as the great defender said,  or as Perry let slip, disband the whole thing.

Are these really our choices today?

What we once paid for, and had stolen over the 70's and 80's by Congress, is now definitely up for grabs.

The only question is; Just how much will be taken away from us, not if it will be taken away.

But, How much?

Here is my question, though.

When did our generation of over-achievers, just give up and bend over like we are doing now!

When did we turn into such weaklings?

When did it become unacceptable to stand up and speak your mind and demand that what is yours must stay yours?

I am truly confused!

Was there something put into the shots I had to take when they removed the Not-Yet-Cancerous growth on my head?

Was there something added to the pills that I, and so many of us, have to take daily to keep my transplanted Kidney alive?

Was there something on the needle that sucks out my blood for testing quarterly in order to check for other more deadly diseases that I am susceptible to with the drugs that I take daily?

Was there something in the Pills that I have to take for the attacks of Gout that I get, almost weekly, due to the side effects of my anti-rejection drugs?

Was there something in the Pills I have to take for High Cholesterol that is a side effect of my anti-rejection drugs?

I don't know!
Perhaps that is as good a reason as any for so many of us becoming a complacent "walk all over me" personality. The added pains and costs of treating them as you get older, certainly aren't paid for by Medicare. Medicare pays for most of the cost of the generics and cheap pills.

When you get down with a serious illness, you quickly find that the are those pills that were expertly placed into the "other level" of drugs. The ones that cost $1, $2 or even $5 each!

And then you fall into the famous "Doughnut hole" What a well-designed way to screw the elderly. I can hear them now, as they designed the payment system.

"Let's pay a little something to the elderly for their cheap pills, but, if they are really sick, and need real medication, lets put a window on what medicare will pay.
Let's make the window so they can be seriously Ill and at the same time have to worry where they will get the money to buy the pills that might keep them alive.
And then, if they are well off enough to pay for their drugs and stay alive then, once they have destroyed what little savings they have, lets, turn the coverage back on, and help them with some more Medicare payments."
You  just gotta love the people that we elected, that do this to their constituency. The same constituency that gives them, in return, lifetime coverage after they are elected. Lifetime coverage with no minimums, no maximums, no limits.

And we just sit here and listen, shake our heads and take our afternoon naps!

Well, Sorry people!

While I still have enough savings to pay for my portion of the added cost of my drugs, I will stay alive, and I will try to fight against such people as those that I see on TV now, as they walk that crooked path to the next election, with their skilled, forked-tongue statements of nonsense and lies.

Who cares about me? I do!

Who cares about US? We had better get together and start, and I mean Start Now!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thanks for all the Fish!

A Sunset on the planet called Earth before it was destroyed.

I don't know if you are my age or not, but back in the Sixties, there was a great, camp, book that everyone, who considered themselves Cool, had to read. It was originally a radio show, but quickly turned into a book called "The HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy".

Even though it was a purely comedic work, I, along with so many others my age, read it, related to so much from it, and had many discussions on it's "hidden" meanings, how it applied to our world then, and even more. It was a Camp hit of that time.

And, if you haven't read it, it is still entertaining, even today.

Because I had read it so many times, and it was so entrenched into my mind, throughout my adult life, I would, occasionally, throw out one of the many ambiguous quotes from the book, in meetings, and such, just to see how many people caught what I had said.

Often, my comments would be met with laughs or at least a smile, and a few times, even a few responding comments, that only a fellow 60's "Hippie" type person would understand.

Of course, over time, as we aged, and our working peers became younger, the responses and finally even the smiles disappeared, all to be replaced with questioning looks.

But, I really didn't care, and with my particular and often peculiar personality (or so I have been told), I continued, at the appropriate moment, of course, to sling one of my generational lines into conversations, Just for the Hell of it usually.
Anyway, one of my favorites was. "Good Bye and thanks for the Fish!"

I won't go into a lot of details about it here.
Leave MY Fish Alone!

Suffice it to say that it was a critical line from one of the most important characters in the book, and from the story itself, it was an important statement to all of the people of Earth.

If you don't understand, but I have piqued your interest, then read the book.

If you were able to pull the statement from the cobwebs of your mind, and are sitting there, smiling, then maybe there is hope for us Retirees, yet.

Hope that we can wake up and see the changes being wrought in our world, and try to stop or at least change it for the better and for us as Baby Boomers, before it is too late.

You, and I, need to recognize the two-faced guys for who they are and we need to burst from our lethargic positions, remove their crowns and reject the insanity that we have allowed them to spout.

And, if nothing else, we need to see that our own, personal, "Boomer" insanity is made a higher priority in the order of the cosmos that we presently live in.

We can find the great computer "Deep Thought" quite easily. I mean, it's just sitting there, in plain sight, so that is no longer the problem.

With access and a little control over Deep Thought, we, the Seniors of the world, can band together and present a unified front to the wicked Mouse distorted chaos that reigns as truth, in government, and especially, in DC, today.

I have found MY Towel!

As long as we make sure that we have our towels with us, we can march together, even if only via email and phone calls, and scare the President of the Galaxy into a new consideration of the real "Question".

That is, once we have explained to him and his fellow Mice in Washington that even though the answer is 42, he needs to understand the real question, and not some nonsensical financial suppositions that are touted by mere power hungry Congressmen.

So, Retirees, Seniors, Baby Boomers, old Hippies, and all of the concerned people of the world, lets unite, and pose the real and honest great question to the Cosmos.

We need to ask them; "Why are you eating All of Our Fish?".

IF we can get them to leave out Fish alone, then maybe we can find a way to grow our Fish, and have not only, enough for ourselves, but maybe, if we use our towels of truth effectively, we can even generate more to share with others like the X-Gens, and Y-Gens, etc.

But, we do need to move now, and tell them; "You can Keep Your Thanks, and we will Keep our Fish!"
Along with; "And, if you don't listen to us, we will have your own, personal little secret planet of corruption and self-involvement ........... destroyed!" We know who to call, and the price is relatively cheap, considering all else in the Cosmos!

As an aged, silver haired Boomer, who has found his towel in my old attic chest that I call memories, I am now awake to these happenings, and you need to join me as I say;

"I want my Fish left alone!?"

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

We should take care of OUR OWN, FIRST!

I think people our age need to start literally preaching to our fellow public.

First: You are right, I think where 20 years ago we were in a GRAY area somewhere between True Democracy, and some popular Socialistic trends and laws being implemented. I am afraid that, as you imply, we have run, not walked, as a nation into a very dark Gray area that is approaching a level of Socialism that even our European friends are finding cannot be sustained under all economic conditions.

Second: I have to remind everyone, and seemingly, even you, that our generation paid into an INSURANCE program, called by chance Social Security. It was designed to "Pay for itself". And, as you know, if we had not allowed our democratic friends, starting with LBJ, to rape our "insurance Account" we would not be having the rather mindless conversations in DC about cutting Seniors "Retirement Insurance Benefits".

But, alas, we sat on our butts and did not keep a vigilant eye on our "representatives" and now we almost need to turn into a revolutionary force to get what we paid for back. And, I do mean Revolutionary. I don't think anyone in our generation expected, paid for, or suspected that such a small and devious group would steal our money and turn us into the recipients of a Socialist entitlement. But , I am afraid, that is where we are at the moment, until we find a unified voice, and force some hard solutions.

My personal fear is that we will, as a group, force another Congressional FLUSH of participants due to our anger, and allow another crop of inexperienced idiots who know the right words to use, into Congress, with similar idiotic and factionalized radical voting, rather than negotiated goals that have a solution for ALL of the people they represent.

Third: Medicare, the Insurance program, originally designed as a benefit for the elderly retired people of America, once they no longer had health insurance from their personal and company policies, somehow got turned into an across the board entitlement for everyone in our country, including; Illegal Aliens, Drug Addicts, the Jobless, Felons, and their spouses and children. Now, that's Socialism.

Now, obviously, someone needs to be dropped from the public Dole. Who do we pick? Well, my fear is that like so many things that need the approval of politicians, they are going to listen to the most vocal. We, the Baby Boomers, the working Class, the Honest citizens of our country, need to get LOUD and we need to get LOUD fast.

I am truly sorry. but, a sick Felon, under house arrest (just happened with over 150 drug dealers in Tampa), has no right to Food Stamps and Medicare while being kept on House arrest.

They need to be kept in Jail, and if the Jail is full, we need to tent them up in camps, if necessary.

And, the illegal Alien? If he is sick or hungry? He can come to the local government agency. he can be fed, he can be treated for his illness.

But, He can also be put onto a Bus or Plane back to his native country.

You See, We cannot afford to support all of these classifications of freeloading people any more.

We need to back up and take care of our own, FIRST.

Damn, I feel better after saying this. WHEW!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tea Party members of Congress and Repubs taking oaths?

Sometimes You just have a Bad Day!

Here is my Opinion on the Politicians who are running things.

My Opinion is worth what you just paid for it!

A minute or two of your life.

When you finish this article, I hope you consider it worth your time.

This is a relatively short Hub, and is a reaction to what I got out of the speeches by the President and the Speaker of the House not long ago..

I write this out of my sense of rage, and to drive you, the reader to react.

I will delete it soon, after my head clears and this issue is a piece of history and not an ongoing staged Circus where the Clowns are in charge.

OK! I Understand!

Politics is a dirty business.

But, not long ago, as I watched the President and the Speaker make their lame and boring speeches attempting to blame everything going bad in Congress on the other

One thing was said during this boring and childish exchange that really enraged me.

I think I heard right. The President made a statement that, and this is not a direct quote, so bear with me.

He said that there were over 100 Tea-Partiers and Republicans in the house that had taken an OATH not to accept any new taxes in the present budget negotiations.

An OATH! By Politicians?

To what political purpose?

Are they thinking that their goals are so right that they can stand and watch as our nation falls into a financial quagmire.

Do they really believe that it is perfectly OK to take an Oath not to compromise and do what might be the right thing for all of the nations people, in an effort to save our country's economy.

How can they believe that such radicalism justifies the pain suffered by the people of the our nation from their actions?

Now, as I have said in the Past, I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican.

Rather I vote for the person, or issue, that I can accept, and have done so in every election of my life. I just have not been able to follow any one groups dictates based on a groups political philosophy. That's just me, I guess.

In fact, I end up not liking the total political package that any large group of people puts together on just about any issue..

Oh, I always have, and still do, understand that the more people that are involved in a public statement of purpose, the more the compromises that will be worked into the final document to make it acceptable.

But, an OATH to stand on one single politically motivated financial position, and damn all efforts to some level of reasonable overall compromise, is a truly radical thing to do in politics.

So radical that I ask; are these people political Jihadists? Have they taken their delusions of perfection to the point of making a religious stand rather than a political stand?

Did no one tell all of these new "representatives of the people" that their job was to represent all of their constituents, and not one single philosophical stand, as they performed their jobs in Congress?

Did no one tell them that they were put there to learn from their peers, and work together towards the best decisions for their nation as a whole?

Did no one tell them that they represent the great "mixing pot" of America ..... all of it?

Sure, they got elected by some level of a voting majority back home.

But, they were elected for a number reasons. In each one of their cases they were elected to take their political statements of purpose, and use them to represent the whole of their constituency, and not just one group's ideology, much less to enforce one single political campaign slogan.

A Single-Minded View of the World

I really don't care what party you are a member of, when you are so single minded and blind to the overall needs of all of your country;s people, Once you go there, you have discarded the purpose of your own election, and our whole country suffers for your misguided stupidity.

Taking an Oath, to one unbending political statement, not only scares me, but makes me wonder about what these people think they are actually there for.

Don't get me wrong. I can sit here and make reasonable arguments; for more money to spend as well as for spending less, for more spending on SS as well as less, for more taxes as well as for less. And on and on.

But, you see, that is not my job. I personally elected people to represent ME, as best they can when they got to Congress. As we all did across this great country of ours.

I never expected to put someone there that would have an ideology that was a mirror of mine. But I did expect them to use intelligence and reason, and work with their peers to make the best decisions that they could, while keeping me in mind.

At this time, I just don't see it happening when people can be so unfocused on their true responsibility to the American people..

An Update after the Election

OK, The Election is over!

We all have to either revel in this fact or accept it. It's not going to change, so we and our government need to move on.

But, I want to ask; Has anything changed?

The balance of power in the House and Senate are pretty much the same, so the same ridiculous ideas prevail in each House.

Oh, the Tea Party radicals are still there, overall, driving their points home,but now, with a lot of egg on their face from a humiliating mandate from the American Public.

So, I watch as all of the peacocks prance around in front of the cameras, promising to cooperate on our nations budget problems.

But, look closely in their eyes and you will see the same thing that I see. They are not changed, only more cautious about hat they say.

I fear for our nation, still!

I fear that as the days pass and the deadline for reason approaches, these fools will still "stand their ground" and drive our government into the next level of CHAOS by their fanatical ideologies.

I Fear!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Your email and controlling access to you.

OK, You probably already have at least one email address, and you know how to use the web, at least to some degree.
I mean, you are reading this, so you knew enough to get to it, Right?
But, do you get Junk Mail? From people and sites that you have no idea how they got your email address?
Well, there are so many ways for people and companies to get your access to your email address, that even if you are being very careful, eventually you end up having to sort through what I call the Pigeon Poop of the web.
There is one relatively simple way to manage your email, that I have been using for several years, and, so far, it is working well for me.
Here is a simplistic overview of my email management system, and why I made these decisions.

Select an Email Service Provider
Most of us have a free email service provided by our local web service provider.  It's free, it's there, so most of us end up using it.  In my mind, there is a problem with this.
You see, every time you relocate, or even just want to change service providers, you find that you end up having to go to dozens of banks, credit card companies, and other business' and either online, or by mail and change the email address that they use to communicate, or even bill you.
And, often, the email service that they provide is not a very, shall I say, flexible, email system.  In fact, some are just plain archaic, and hard to use.  For some reason, providing a good flexible email system for the average person is just not on the priority list of mist providers.
They seem to think that their job is to provide access and speed, and such supporting services as email, news access, search engines, etc. are just not near the top of their list of priorities.
I can’t tell you how many times in the past, that I have visited a friend, who might not be very technical, and they will ask me to “Fix” a problem they are having with their email.  And, when I look, what I normally see is a hodge-podge system of software that is obviously cheap and shall I say “Clunky”.
And, the most common problem smy friends have is a combination of; 1-the available instructions and support is below even what I would consider the “Basic” level, and 2- often the package itself has “bugs” that end up adding to the non-technical users confusion.
So experience has driven me to go to a major player for my email service.
What you should do is talk to your more computer involved friends about what service they use.  There are plenty of free services out there, so finding a good one should not be a problem. I myself, after a little research went over to Google’s gmail.
The service is free, and they have a very flexible and powerful email service that also provides several mega-bytes of free storage.

How Many email address’ do you need?
Yes, that’s right! How many do you need? Let me explain.
I got tired of my email address being sold to other companies and ending up with a mailbox full of Junk Mail, that was eating up my time (and storage memory) deleting and otherwise managing them.
So, I now have 3 email address’.
Email #1 is the one that I use strictly for business, and financial communications, such as banks, utility companies, financial institutions, etc.
Email #2 is the one that I use strictly for communications with friends and casual associates.
Email #3 is the one that I use strictly for shopping on the web, searching for information on sites that I am not confident of their security, etc.
And, of course, my spouse has two email address’ of her own, one for friends, and one for shopping.
That is 5 email address’ that we have for our protection.
The business email address has remained safe, and I have not had to change address’ with my companies for years.
The friends email address, gets very little Junk, and what I do get is easily managed.  The biggest problem with friends and acquaintances is the danger from their attachments. So be sure you have your security set up to scan incoming mail for such potential problems.
And the third email?  Well, that is the one that gets deleted and re-set up whenever I start getting a lot of Junk or even the occasional virus, etc.
But, at least I have it contained to a separate address that, when it is corrupted, I can fix much easier than if I had all of my mail tied to only one address.
It works for me.

Other Notes;
Your Web Service Providers email address.
Most Web Service providers will give you an email address, on their system that they want to use to communicate with you.  Usually things such as System problems, projected down times, update schedules, etc.
What I did is set this address up to automatic forward all of these mails directly to one of my email address’ that I had selected as discussed above.
This way I don’t have to go over to their site and check for notices all of the time, because I get their notices forwarded automatically.
Mail Folders:
Use the Mail folders that any good email service provides.  These will really help you keep control of your email history.  I generated folders with titles such as; Financial, eBay, Target, Insurance, Health Info, PC Info, Friends Mail, etc.  Of course, you can generate whatever fits your personal lifestyle.
I read my emails, and if I think there is any information that I might want to reference, or just re-read in the future, I move it over to the relevant folder, and it is automatically saved.
The remaining emails? I delete them, they are some of that Pigeon Poop that I mentioned earlier, and you really must get into the habit of cleaning them up.
Think about it. If it wasn’t important enough to be in one of your folders, then it is probably not worth keeping at all.  GET RID OF IT!  I have a friend that deletes nothing, and his email main folder, is enormous, and he takes forever to find old information
I have one more suggestion on folders.  Once a year, either delete the old ones, or, write the older ones to a CD, in case you need to look the information up in the future.  CD’s are cheap, but if you don’t manage your old emails, you will end up hitting the limit of that free storage that the provider gives you.
You will get an email offering you expanded storage capacity ….. for a price of course. And you will be given a time limit to comply with the old limit or BUY the new capacity. I hope you have the time to do this after the fact when the notice comes in, because it will come, eventually.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you.  In today’s world, you need a powerful and flexible email system. One that does what you want, the way you what, when you want it, not just what they want you to do for you.
So …… Shop, Research, find the right package and maximize your communications with the world.
----- END -----

Monday, March 14, 2011

ME? and Retirement.

I actually retired several years ago, and have been living on a couple of small pensions and significantly reduced SS payments.
The reasons for my early retirement are varied, and seemed appropriate at the time.
So I have no real reasons to second guess myself.

And that is what I recommend to you.
When you Retire, of course you should adjust your plans as your life and financial circumstances change.
But don't cry over spilt milk.   Whatever happened that changed for you, you need to react to, but just move on, and adjust and change as necessary, so you can live your retired life the way you want.

Look at your finances, CLOSELY!
Do your research, especially on the web.
I found so many great sites with good basic information for retirees and potential retirees, that after about six months of putting myself through my own personal training program, I was able to make sound retirement decisions based on my own needs.

I recommend that you do the same.
Oh, by the way, remember that any person or company that claims to be an expert in retirement planning?
Well they all have a vested interest in "helping" you invest/spend your money, or so it ended up for me.
I recommend that you listen to them,but do it with a tight grip on your money.
And, no matter how hard a sell job they are throwing at you, please, be smart a d walk away without signing anything.
Here is my suggestion:
If they are professional, then they will understand,
If they keep pushing you? RUN!
Well, that's it for the day!
Have a Good One!