Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Edition

No, its not Bobby Brown and company.

Jenn and I decided to get a dog. We were so excited to welcome Freckles into our home.

You can also check out my new blog, Life With Our Dog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vote. Its your right. Not a priviledge.

Over the past week there have been a number of attacks on Democratic Nominee Obama. Some of these attacks have come from the mobs at the McCain-Palin rallies. In the last debate Obama attempted to say that these attacks were nothing but a smear campaign, by McCain to try and discredit the American people. McCain says that its absurd, and Obama insists that McCain has done nothing to stop this kind of outbursts from the crowds at his rallies.

I would like to say on record that Obama is not only mistaken, but also so misinformed. Obama said that McCain has perpetuated all these attacks. I would like to say that it is false and here is a video to prove it. This was broadcast on CNN 5 days before the last debate.

I understand that there are a lot of Americans out there that are scared to have Obama as a president. I get that, and be scared, but don't let your emotions get the best of you. Do not call him a terrorist because his 'blood lines' say he is. These claims are absurd.

If you don't like Obama you need a better reason why. There are so many reasons not to like each candidate. For instance. If you want to reduce America to the USSR, then vote for Obama. If you want the debt to grow, then vote for Obama [Give a tax cut to 95% of the population and raise taxes on the other 5% all the while you plan to increase].

I don't agree with Obama's views for many reasons. The first and foremost reason is because his tax plan says that he is going to give a tax hike to those who make $250,000+ a year, and cut taxes that are making anything less than $250,000. His tax hike will effect 5% of the total population of America. His tax cuts would benefit 95% of the Americans.

His reasons are to "...share the wealth."-Obama 10/15/2008 during the Presidential Debates.

I don't agree that I need to share my wealth with any one but my family. There are some fanatics of Obama that ask me why I even bring that up as a point because I don't make $250,000 a year, and because I don't make that much, I shouldn't care.

You're right. I don't make $250,000 a year, but I aspire to. I already think like I have that kind of income. I want to have that kind of money, and when I get there, I don't think anyone needs to stick their hands in my pockets and take what I have worked so hard to earn. I don't care if its the government, I don't care if its my daughter. My money is my money. I will pay income taxes, just like everyone else in this country. If we are all taxed at the same rate, then we will ALL feel the same pain, relative to what our income is. If you make $10,000 a year, and you are taxed at 2% of what you make, then you pay $200 in income tax. If I make $100,000 and I am taxed at 2% of what I make, then I pay $2000. Its simple math. They take 2% of what you make, and they take 2% of what I make. If the country had 100,000 people in it and let's just say for the sake of simple math that 95% made $10,000 and 5% made $100,000 then the total amount of money the population would make is $1.45 billion. The government's share of that would be $200 million. $190 million would come from 95% of the population and $10 million would come from 5% of the population.

Wait does that seem fair? There is 5% of the economy contributing 5% of the total revenue for the government. Why should the poor people have to front more money?

The reason the poor should front the most is because there are more poor people. The only way to split the math 50% is to cut taxes for the low income, and raise taxes for the high, but why should the poor pay less money for a system they are using more than the more wealthy?

If we are to look at the whole picture, the people using the system are those who are in need. That's great, we have a great country who loves its constituents. But why are the people using all the great programs we have, if they are not paying to use them. I can't get on a city bus unless I pay for it. If we are to use this logic, take from the rich and give to the poor, then what incentive does the poor person have to go out and get a better job? What motivation do they have to get an education to get a better job or even try and raise their standards of living? There isn't. Its the same logic that is in the child support system. If the person paying child support in the current system gets a raise, they have to tell the child support board, but if the person receiving the child support gets a raise, then its ok, mums the word. The person paying gets a child support increase, and the person receiving gets their raise and the raise of the person paying the support order. Is that fair?

I don't agree with that at all. If we cut taxes for the poor, then the rich need a break too.

You may not agree and that is fine. But once the government tries to get the people of America all on the same level playing field, then we will slip into socialism, and then welcome back USSR! Look how that ended. They tore down a wall and built a Starbucks, and they haven't been able to recover since. Their dollar is weak, their government is a shell of what it once was and Red Square is not a large tourist spot. I remember the KGB being some bad asses. Now where are they? Nowhere. They are consultants on the Bourne Series.

I am not saying vote for McCain. I am saying, before you get into who ever you are going to get into, learn the issues, look at the big picture. Don't go to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or even CBS. Jump on your candidates website and learn what they stand for. Be an educated voter, rather than a blind sheep going into the wolf's den.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Something worse than........

There is nothing in this world that says, suburbia than a mini-van full of kids and a bag full of soccer equipment. Soccer Mom's and Dad's are all the rage these days. They are getting all the credit for being over reactive, snooty, and even rich and arrogant.

I have found yet an new class of snob. defines snob as:

1.a person who imitates, cultivates, or slavishly admires social superiors and is condescending or overbearing to others.
2.a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field: a musical snob.

When you read Soccer Mom or Soccer Dad, read, Soccer Snob. Its unisex. This word doesn't discriminate.

Every Wednesday I take my daughter to cheer practice. I have heard my wife, my wife's friends, and even my ex-wife talk about the Cheer Mom's. Now there are not a lot of Cheer Dad's. The Cheer Dad's that are there, like myself, are just quiet because getting on a Cheer Mom's bad side, is much like throwing yourself on a grenade to save al-Queda. But I keep hearing Cheer Mom's this and Cheer Mom's that. I think it is time to tell the world what the dark under belly of competition cheerleading is.

I have come to reduce being a Cheer Mom is the realization that you have 3 kids, have a husband who makes a little money, and used to be the hottest thing in high school/college. You used to be on the cheer squad, get all the hot football players, and somewhere after the freshman 15 and then the mommy pouch 30, you lost that look, and your hot football player boyfriend turned into the couch potato husband who drinks a 6 pack a day and can't keep it up to get you off anymore, and then to capture the magic of yester-year, you push you young daughter into the world of competition cheerleading, so she can somehow live the life you haven't lived. The purpose for Cheer Mom is to live through their child.

Today at cheer practice I have learned that Cheer Mom's are the nastiest things in this world. I sat in the bleachers at practice with the other Cheer Mom' for the first time, ever. They didn't know who I was, but I knew who they were. I knew that mommy #1 in the corner with the muffin top is in the mom of the nice talented girl in the front row. I knew that mommy #2 with the laptop and the Mercedes out front, is the adopted mother of the only black girls on my daughter's team. These ladies, didn't know me. If they knew me, they didn't talk to me.

I sat in the back row and observed the practice. It was pretty rough. The girls didn't know the routine and were making simple mistakes. The mom's would watch and try and coach their respective kids via hand signals and head nods. I did nothing to help my daughter. She didn't need to be looking at me to learn, she needs to look to the coach. Now my daughter was making a lot of mistakes, but was not the only one making mistakes. Everytime my daughter made a mistake, the mom's would talk. I couldn't hear them so I sat closer. Now that I could hear, it was clear they were not happy with the progress of my daughter's skills. Now when it comes to my daughter, I get a little defensive.

I reserved space in my blog for my response because I lack the balls, and have a conscience about the attitudes of adults infront of children to say what I really feel at practice.

Hey fat ugly has been sitting on the bench. Shut the fuck up! You and your nice car, nice hair cut, but fat ass muffin top need to take you and your attitude and shove it up your ass. You sit here all high and mighty talking about how MY daughter's mistakes, but you overlook the mistakes of your flesh and blood. You are not in high school and if you were any good at being a cheerleader, then you would still be doung it, but your not. You are sitting on your ass at home day in and day out, washing the socks of your fat and lazy husband, and you're miserable. Don't take your frustrations at your failure in life our on my daughter. Take you and your opinions and get a fucking job and contribute to this economy because you are the reason we are in this recession!

Whew, I feel better. Stupid bitches.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unformated, Stream of Consciousness Rambling

I type this from the business center in a Courtyard Marriott in Dublin, Ohio.  I have to mention that because who ever monitors this computer for them might get mad that I have monopolized this computer for too long and I have to give them a mention so I can continue to type.
I am in Dublin on business.  I am away from my family, friends, and comfortable home.  The Marriott (keep me plugged in) is not a bad place to spend your days, but I always miss home. 
The business I have in Dublin is training for the position I hold.  I am, for lack of a better word, a middle manager.  I am not a high level executive, nor am I just a sales rep.  I am in the gray area, where I have the responsibility to grow sales numbers as a person, and also as a team.  Before I get off track, I am here to learn how my Multi-Billion dollar company wants me to train the employees that work under my direction.  I am also here to learn how the business works and more specifically, how our company is different than the competition in the way we decide to conduct business.
Today was the first time I learned something new in a training class.
Today I learned that our CEO, wants us(read: every single person who works for the company) to be business people first, and sales people second.  He wants us to see that big picture.  He wants us to see where our money comes from, what we do with our money, and why we do it. 
The bottom line in business is always money.  The more you have, the more stability you have.  The more stability you have, the more control you have over growth. 
Now I am not an expert in business by any means.  I am just a humble pawn in a very very large game of chess.
I am energized by this class, and makes me want to put together the mechanism for a successful business for myself.
--switch gears for a second--
The economy.
This financial crisis has us all in a worry.  I used to think that this crisis did not affect me.  I thought it only affected Wall St. and very, already, rich CEO's.  I am finding more and more that this crisis affects me a lot. 
I am trying to secure financing for my condo.  My credit is just ok, and my income is just ok.  When it comes to a bank to loan me money, with this credit crunch, they are going back to make sure I am going to pay it.  I have money in the bank, but they want to know where that money came from.  I have defaulted judgements, and they want to know why they defaulted.  They want bank statements, W-2's tax returns, and verification that I have a job. 
This doesn't sound different from before the crisis?  They wanted all this stuff?  Yes.  But what banks were doing was accepting other forms, like plan B documents.  Can't get a canceled check for that deposit?  Fine, then we can take the statement saying it cleared your bank. 
Unfortunately now that they are really strict, this makes my situation even harder.  I have to get all this, what I think is stupid stuff, and give it to them, for them to give me money.  I meet all the criteria for the loan, but they just want to know how I got to this point.  Awesome.  The bank just wants the loans they give back.  But when did it start to feel like the Spanish Inquisition? 
--switch the subject again--
The debates last night did nothing to help me solidify my decision for president.  Through the debates I only heard McCain talk about challenging his own party, and Barack only blame the Bush Administration for the problems we face today.  The both of them were asked to outline the plans they have.  Neither candidate did.  I didn't hear Barack tell the audience that his action plan to fix health care was to do "x,y,z."  I heard, "Health care is something that is important to all Americans.  I feel that insurance companies should cover pre-existing condition's, and that everyone should have Health Care.  I feel that Americans have the right to choose who provides them Health Care."  That's really great Obama, but I see your vision, but what I don't see is your steps to get there, so your vision means shit to my investment dollars.  Unless I get a return on my investment, take your vision and shove it up your ass. 
Tom Brokaw asked a direct question to each candidate about who they feel would be their Treasury Secretary.  John McCain was the only person who gave names.  Obama did not.  Obama said that Warren Buffett would be great, then he went off and said that the Bush administration is to blame for our hard times. 
So based on what little I know about their plans, they both suck.
--full circle--
After taking this class, it gave me the big picture on government, business, and finances. 
If we were keeping track of our budget, then we need to see America's financial statements.  We, as American Citizens, need to view the statement of our government and give it a good look over.  I want to call the IRS and ask to see the last 2 years of Annual Reports for America.  I bet you they would never give me that information. 
I want to see how much America is bringing in with TAX dollars, and how much it is making in investments.  I want to see what I can do to help our economy.  I don't want to be told what I have to do, I want to find out for myself.  I want to take the control of our money out of the hands of my government, and into the hands of me. 
Why do we put the trust of our money into the hands of those who are not educated about economics.  If we are just going to give it to someone who has a degree is politics, then I would rather I take the Budget of America to my accountant and have him look it over. 
Let's take a look at the cash flow statements, balance sheets, and profit/loss statements.  I can tell you that if more Americans learned how to read those kinds of documents, like I learned today, we wouldn't be where we are today.  But government seems to be in the business of keeping us stupid and in the dark.  It seems like it is in the business of telling us what is a good investment and a bad investment. 
I just want to know where my money is going so I can call my representative and tell him how I feel.  I want to become part of the process.  I never had a member of Congress how I felt about anything.  Even if he did ask me about a program he wants to support, I wouldn't know about it. 
I need to stop being so ignorant!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mom, Dad, I got you a gift, its called 5 to 10. Merry Christmas!

Driving Audrey to school this morning I was listening to Q104. Today a story broke in Garfield Hts, Ohio regarding a weapon, a student, and a locker. There was a note, phone call, and what some parents call a lack of response.

It goes without saying that firearms at school will get a response out of the general public. When you mix that with a suburban school district where there are stay at home mothers, a response is like breathing.

The first caller was a parent of a child in that school. She said she got a phone call saying an incident happened and to expect a note. She liked that. Her voice went to nagging stay at home mom mode when she said the school didn't do enough. The school has a responsibility to keep out kids safe, the school has to do this and that. I wanted to drive my car into the ditch just to shut her up.

The administrators are trained to handle this situation, we are not. I would give this woman more credibility if she said she was a police officer, or even a hall monitor, but she isn't. She is a stay at home mother with nothing better to do than second guess people from the arm chair of her over sized SUV.

No one got shot at this school. A gun was found, in a locker, not loaded. The student was arrested, no ammunition was found, and life goes on. Is it serious a gun was found at school? Absolutely. But to sit around and say the school didn't do enough is absurd. Your children don't have bullets in them, so sit back and take a deep breath.

Now the parents of this gun toting child need to be detained. They have a responsibility to know what their kids are up to. Parents need to be the proverbial CIA to their kids.

There are tons of parents who are not involved with what their kids are doing and it drives me nuts. If my daughter even had the opportunity to touch a gun, what would go through her head is, what is Dad going to do if he finds out? It isn't going to be, wonder if I will go to jail. My reaction should be enough to detour her.

I work in retail. I see little brats all day who think they are entitled to whatever their little heart desires. They talk to their parents with such disdain that its hard not to correct them and tell them that they need to show some respect. What drives me even more nuts are the parents who allow their kids to act like this in public.

There are a lot of parents who let their kids talk to them with a sharp tongue, but if I would talk to them that way, they would get all bent out of shape.

Personally, I loved it when parents were fined for their kids skipping schools a few years ago!

I think if a child brings a gun to school, first thing that should happen is arrest the child and parents. If the child is found guilty, then so should the parents, unless this child got this gun somewhere the parents supervision wasn't there. If the parents supervision isn't there, the adult who was present at the time goes to jail. This will account for kids going to a friends house and taking their friend's stuff.

Hold the parents accountable! Stop second guessing your schools administrators.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hope your broker's plan B isn't to jump out the window

There are 2 reasons for this blog.

1. To test the ability to post a blog by e-mail from my BlackBerry.

2. To address how this 'financial crisis' is effecting me.

If you are reading this blog, then, the ability to post via e-mail worked.

So how is this financial crisis effecting me?

Well to understand how this crisis effects me, one has to understand the crisis.

This crisis is because there are a ton of banks that wrote a bunch of bad loans. No one was watching who these banks were lending to, and there are a lot of loans that are now going unpaid.

So banks aren't collecting on their loans so they are no longer loaning money out, or they are looking at who wants the money a little closer and its harder to get the loans people need. So now that no one is getting loans, they are holding onto their cash. Now regular consumers aren't investing/buying consumer goods, the markets are losing value because the general public has pulled their money out of the market, you see all these sell off's and the markets crash.

This effects all of us. Do you need a credit card? Good luck trying to get one. Trying to buy a house? Good luck.

This is how I am being effected the most. After a year of saving and paying off debt, Jenn and I are finally in a position to buy a home. We had a condo picked out. We have been trying to buy it for a while. We made an offer of $131,500. A reasonable offer. The seller is breaking even and Jenn and I have an affordable house payment. Because of declining home values the appraiser couldn't make this house appraise for more than $125,000. Well that's a deal breaker for the sellers. They want their money back. They don't want to lose anymore money than they have already.

So they called and said that they would lower the purchase price to $125,000 and they will consider the other $5,000 a personal loan and we can pay that back over time.

Well here is the problem I have with that. Why would I pay $131,000 for a house that is only valued at $125,000 in today's market? I won't. So if they don't appraise this house at $131,500 I'm going to walk away from the deal. I will pack my shit and move.

This is something I would rather not do.

Now the second part of this crisis, is that banks aren't loaning money out all that much, so with my weak credit score and lack of a large down payment, getting my deal through underwriting is going to be hard enough, and with this appraisal fiasco, this is giving me more hours of lost sleep than I care to lose.

This crisis has people freaking out. The malls are empty, people aren't spending any discretionary money. So people aren't coming into my kiosk and buying phones. This is effecting my paycheck because I work on commission.

Let's hope the rebound in the market isn't just a one day buy back and we keep making progress.

The government needs to keep its bail out package and let the market fix itself. Let the banks pay for the bad loans they doled out with their own money.

Hey, at least Congress got oil prices to drop, albeit by coincidence, but hey, at least they got something done for once.