Saturday, January 31, 2009

Working way to much

Seems like the last week in every month is the week needed to make the month. What do I mean? The first three weeks glide by normally,work is steady, backlog of jobs is fairly normal. Then comes the last week. Holy sh.., we need to ship how much to pay the monthly bills? Payroll,taxes,landlord,electricity,water,telephone,gas, truck repair....seems the list is endless. So 16 hours a day is do-able for the next seven days. Job done-another month survived. The joy's of a small job shop. But then I still have a job.

Today is also bad-I mean really bad-I mean bad with a capital BBBBaaaddd! I opened the cupboard to retrive a can of salmon. Not just salmon, but WildRed salmon in the 3.75oz can. All my hand came out with was the empty cardboard box that normally holds 24 cans. This cannot be-a day without WildRed salmon is worse than running out of Pepsi or Cigarettes which can be replaced with a simple trip to the store. This will not happen again. I intend to order a years supply this time. Which with the world the way it is today is not a bad idea.

OK I'm back. Had to stop and re-order my Wild Red, and being smarter than the average bear, I decided to check my wild blueberry stash. Down to two pounds, re-ordered them to. I like to balance out my sins(Pepsi & cigarettes) with some healthy alternatives. I really do eat healthy. I have been blessed that today at age 68 I take no medications at all.

Thinking about dropping the price on the condo. I want that piece of land in the boondocks as soon as possible. Campground fees are always high in Florida during the season, and always to crowded for me. I use a friends place in the woods during this time, but don't wish to wear out my welcome.

See ya

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Get rich day

Almost forgot today is the day to play for cash. Power Ball, Lottery, Fantasy, and Mega Money. Sounds so easy-pick a bunch of numbers, and wake up the next day rich.....But wait I almost forgot-the instant gratification scratch offs. Take your pick, anything from a $1.00 to $30.00. Rub away-did you win?

Lost the rent money? Can't make the car payment? The lottery board did say play responsibly?
I see the people that can least afford it playing for up to $50.00 a pop. Look at the odds people-take the gambling money and put it to better use. Or with self control bet a $1.00-Buying 20 tickets? Remember only one ticket can win.

Time to quit preaching and go get my ticket.

See ya

Monday, January 26, 2009

The AutoWay Chevrolet Dealer wins-this time

When the dealer called to inform me that my van was being held hostage for the week-end I thought it would be a good time to have some additional work done. Add a oil change, and since my rear view mirror decided it did not like being on the windshield I asked them if they would convince it to return to it's proper position. Since sometimes I use it to look backwards. They also informed me that there is a open campaign to replace seat buckles per re-call and would take care of that. Ah customer service at it's finest. Perhaps the closing of many dealerships in our area has brought back better relations.

I should have known better!

Alternator: $680.11

Re glued rear view mirror: $27.89

Lube oil and filter: $30.80

Replaced seat buckles: $59.75

TOTAL BILL: $852.50

In the past to the best of my knowledge a re-call was do to a fu..-up from the factory. Now the customer has to bring their van on their time to the dealer to have it repaired. Re-call's are not to be paid for by the customer. BS Not according to my dealership(IE-customer pays for labor)

The mirror did not like the dealership any more than I did. It jumped off the windshield half way home. (dealership asked if I drove over bumpy roads)

Moral of story: I go back to doing my own repairs.

Lesson learned: Ask Ask Ask ASK about all charges before any work is done.

Yes I still love my Chevy-just need a dealership that would love it to.

Week-end in the woods was fabulous!

See ya

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The old days are gone-I miss them

No van until at least Monday. Got the call Friday afternoon-need to order the alternator. Say what? WTF General Motors does not stock alternators? Ah you say-but yours is a high amp output alternator-BS they are in all 3500 Chevy vans.

Remember the days when you would take off the bad generator and re-build it in two hours? File points on a voltage regulator, set the points with a pack of book matches. I digress. Life was good with the 53 Chevy pick-up. Today they have a hand held computer to check the code for why my "check engine" light is on in my 2002 Chevy pick-up. When they could not determine the cause they just cleared the computer. Came back on three days later, and has been on now for the last 8 months.

Well I always say "Don't let the Bast.... get you down" so back to the woods I go. Threw the tent, sleeping bag, cooler,grill, toolbox, and anything else I thought I might need in the pick-up and off I go.

See ya Monday

Friday, January 23, 2009

TGIF

How many times in your life time have you heard this: Thank God it's Friday. Well I like to thank God for every day of the week. If not for the others Friday would never get here, and I would not be able to enjoy three day weekends in the woods.

Today unfortunately I am setting in a Chevrolet service center with a dead alternator. Starting the "little One" this morning showed the little red battery, and the volt meter reading a measly 9volts. And of course since it is Friday (payday for many) seems every one wants their cars and trucks serviced today. Calls to other dealers resulted in the same response-three to four hours for the repair after you once get in the service bay. Probably closer to 5-6 hours. Soooo what to do? To early for happy hour.

The courtesy van was kind enough to drop me off at work. They will retrieve me when the work is accomplished. Looks like the weekend trip will be shorter by a day this week. Of course I could take Monday off and still get three days. What a thought.

See ya

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Smile it could get colder

Well I smiled, and damn if it did not get colder. A lot COLDER- how cold you ask? Try 28 degrees, and frost on the windshield this morning. I must have pissed off the Northern gods or something. Did you ever try to buy long underwear in Florida? It would be easier selling snow mobiles here. Come to think of it where is my snowmobile suit? Right-up north.And yes I know up north 28 degrees this time of year is a heat wave. I ain't up north. Sanity will return in the land of sunshine with temps scheduled to return to normal for Sunday: 71, Monday: 71, and Tuesday: 72. I could hibernate until then?

No fear: t shirt,long sleeve wool shirt,hoody sweat shirt, and windbreaker should work to keep these old bones warm until noon when the temps reach 50 degrees. Perhaps I'll wash the truck. Perhaps I'll move to Florida-the land of sunshine. At least the sun is shinning. I feel like wimp. The brain must be suffering from frost bite-where is my hat?

I'll be back when I thaw out.

See ya

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter in Florida

No seasons in Florida? My a.., 38 degrees when I woke up this morning spells WINTER to me. If it drops much more the water may get hard enough to go ice fishing. Ha, but then the temps will warm up later to the 50 degree mark, and all is well in paradise. I faintly remember December vacations before moving here when we would swim in the Gulf when the water was 68 degrees. Now if it's not 88 degrees not one toe would touch the water.

Our average temperatures for the month of January: 72/50. So for now temps are a little lower. We live with it for the few days that it dips below those temps.

To my friends up north-I feel your pain, but Michigan in spring and fall is hard to beat, so I know why you enjoy living there.

See ya

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The day the music died

As of January 19th I have been blessed with 68 years of living on this planet. I thank God for my excellent health, for a wonderful marriage of 43 years (wife passed in 2002), two wonderful children, and 4 grandchildren.

We lived the American dream. Our era was manufacturing in Michigan. I worked in a job shop as a toolmaker, wife stayed home, ranch house on 5 acres, two cars, vacation cabin up north on a lake, two three week vacations to Florida every year. In 1981 we sold it all and moved to Florida. Again the good lord blessed me with another opportunity. Checking around I found a few companies that needed outside machining work. So I opened my own machine shop. For the past 28 years I have enjoyed doing what I love the most, and never once had to call it work. I LOVE my job. Life is good ,and God has blessed me and my family.

However the last three years have been all down hill. I have gone from a 5 man shop to just me, and two part time employees. In just a short three years forty percent of my customers have gone bankrupt, twenty percent have sent their work to China, and my landlord filed for bankruptcy in October 2008. So I now have two options-move the shop, or close it. I don't like either choice. I contacted a few machine dealers to give me a quote to buy the assets, and believe it or not neither wanted them. They both recommended selling them on E Bay. I may find a school, and see if they would like a donation of a complete machine shop. Or I may look for a 41 year old toolmaker from up north that has a dream of owning his own business and give it to him. Time will tell.

Talk about an old man yakking it up-jeezs. The above reference was needed because of what I plan to do today. Since I am still pissed about the credit card being cancelled with no notice, I have decided I can do the same thing. I spent three hours on the phone cancelling 21 credit cards that had a total of $630k unsecured credit available. I feel SOOOO good! And yes that was $630k of unsecured credit available. Maybe I should have bought that 43 foot class"A" at the camper show and took off. Damn it hurts some time to so honest.

Hell since I don't need credit I don't need credit cards. Credit score be damned. Did it my way again. Freedom getting closer.

See ya

Monday, January 19, 2009

New year-new money plan

Work, football, and the RV show seems to have taken a considerable amount of my time up to date. The RV show is over, and the super bowl is not until February, so it seems now is the time to return to finical stability.

As of now I am totally debt free. No credit card debt, and no mortgage hanging over my head, no truck payment. So why in the hell did my credit score drop 23 points? From 823 to 800. My daughter gives me the one finger salute, and gagging sounds every time she hears my credit score. I tell her I'm just more careful with credit cards than she is-I STOPPED USING THEM. But the drop stills pisses me off, because insurance companies use this data as part of their rate decisions. I believe Chase cancelling my card for lack of use had some bearing on the drop. I wonder what credit score I would have if I closed every card I have. Just a thought, because I know that would be a bad idea. However I always said I took to long, did it wrong, but I did it my way.

As I stated-the condo is on the market again. So that means I have to escalate other means to increase income for my freedom fund. Increase auction listings, start selling on Craig list, and decrease all unnecessary spending. Down to the bare bones. What do you call the bare bones? What would you refuse to give up? For me Pepsi and cigarettes are my two. I know BAD, but remember I said I did it wrong.

See ya

Long Long Sunday

Up at 5:30am is nothing new, but this morning it seemed unnecessary since the RV show in Tampa does not open until 9:am. Left for breakfast at 8:00am, and by 8:30am headed for Tampa. Light traffic, clear and sunny, should be a beautiful day in paradise. It was.

The RV show was as expected-everything from a pop-up to the Prevost. The big surprise for me was the prices. Seems all the class b"s were very very close to 100k, and some of the class A's could be had for as little 69k. I did see a lot of "sold" signs in the windows, so the industry is not totally dead yet. I do hope it survives.

Made it home in time to watch both playoff games. What the hell happened to Philly? Seems they always fade in the playoffs. The steel curtain looked good. Ah seems like yesterday football just started, and now once again the end is in sight. The time flies.

Long day-much needed sleep is catching up to me.

See ya

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Beautiful lazy day

Crawled out of the big down comforter around 8:30am to start another day in the land of sunshine. Sunshine maybe, but 43 degrees and me don't get along. A hot cup of coffee,bacon and eggs will help. After the second cup of coffee I am motivated to step outside.

The leaves,pine needles,and small twigs crackle underfoot as one walks the trail. The peace and silence in the woods have always been my salvation from the week of city living. A small cabin next to a lake deep in the woods would sound like heaven to me. My cabin right now has wheels, so only need to find a lake every once in awhile, with some bass and blue-gill. Today's temperature tells me that fishing will have to wait for another day.

After the refreshing walk, another cup of coffee fits the bill quite nicely. A good book for the rest of the day, and the day will be complete.

Tomorrow the RV show in Tampa. I plan to look up a blogger that I have been following to meet in person.

See ya

Friday, January 16, 2009

RV Show

January 14-18 is reserved for the annual wish trip to Tampa. I have attended this event for many many years. One gets to crawl all over million dollars rigs to teardrop joys. The "new smell" gets you very time. Set in a moving house that has more toys that your stick house, and you see how easy it is to dream of one day parking this next to a virgin trout stream for a month. So this Sunday I will once more walk from one end to the other, carry out a bag of brochures, may take a few million pictures, dream of hitting the lottery, and come home to reality. Never hurts to dream, and dreams can come true.

If one really wants something bad enough one will find the way to get it. Work two jobs, start a business, sell off un-needed items, there is always a way.

I do feel sorry for my northern friends suffering winters cold blast. Temperatures in the single digit during the day and minus during the night remind me why I left Michigan 28 years ago. I expect visitors in the coming month.

I'm off for a couple of days in the woods.

See ya

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back to the world of one million listings

Well the condo is back on the market. What can I say. Life is good. It provides me a place to live that is very affordable(no mortgage), in the land of sunshine. When it does sell the house on wheels will roll to other places following the sun. Until then there are always three to four day week-ends. Plus all my northern friends and relatives still have a place to enjoy when they are down.

The RV show is in town from the 14-18 in Tampa. I have to attend that-there may be a Prevost there that I cannot live with out. Ya right, more like a pop up. In reality my "little One" 2004 Roadtrek suites me fine, and will for a long long time. Appreciate what you have, not what you want comes to mind when I think about something larger. I have been very very fortunate in my life. I am also very thankful.

Work now demands my attention, so off I go.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Condo Gods Hate My Guts

Yesterday the weather turned nasty. The cold front moved in and the temps plunged. The sky turned black, and the condo God's laughed with glee. The bidding for the condo stopped at 45k. I purchased it in 2005 for 108k-When the condo God's heard that they split the sky with thunder heard for miles. They sent in vultures to pick the bones clean.
The auction was an alternate selling method. I did not have to take the high bid-or in this case the insulting bid. I am also aware(since I have attended auctions) the object is to pay half or lower than the original or new price of the item. Duh-guess I should have know better. Back to the drawing board.
Options: Rent it and take to the road anyway.(Bad,Bad,Bad idea-tried that once-repairs cost more than the rent collected, and eviction process was hell.
Leave it as is and take to the road anyway
Reality check: Monies from the condo support you on the road. Don't ya hate reality checks?

Plus today I splurged and spent $10.00 on the Power ball ticket. And as my commitment(and I should be committed) I added $10.00 to the Ing account. Results coming in the future.

See ya

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday came and went

I always like Mondays when they do that. Everything runs smooth,and the day ends on a good note.

Today is the day! The condo auction starts at 5pm. Wish me luck. It has been for sale for over a year. No matter what was tried it has not sold. So the auction plan is going to be the final attempt. If it does not work I'll keep it until the market changes. The thought of doing that makes a body part start to pucker. I was lucky to sell the house on the high end when I downed sized, so a lose on the condo can be taken with out ill effects. Hell it's only money. The Brinks truck does not deliver to the cemetery.

Auctions on E-Bay are still being posted, with an occasional sale adding to the Freedom Fund.

No spend days continue to be fairly easy to accomplice.. I'm a simple man with few needs.

Still way to much stuff to get rid of. Donations need to increase.

See ya

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Still chasing bass

The bass thought they could out smart me yesterday morning. Damn they did. Yesterday afternoon after a very nice fresh fish lunch. (The un-lucky Blue-gill caught) I decided another plan of attack was required. If I can't convince them to bite my chose morsels during the day perhaps a nightly attack would have better results.

A nice three hour nap was taken, and dreams of a 10 bass swirled in my head. The spinning rod and some tastey live bait was prepared. Full darkness was averted by a full moon. First bass on at the third cast. Nice 2 pounder. One should not get to cocky, as this was the one and only of the night. Gave up at 1am-time for much needed sleep.

Sunday morning found me up at 8:30am. The fog was soooo thick I could not see the lake which is only 10 feet from my camper. Fresh coffee, bacon and eggs seemed a great way to start the day.

By noon the fog was burned off and the temp was 71 degrees. I consider the weekend a success. Tomorrow back to the weekly grind. I WILL do this full time before this year is over if I have to give away all my un-necessary possessions.

Life is good
See ya

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bass have lock jaw

After beating the water to death with every artifical lure in the arsenal the bass refused to be tempted. I told them I only wanted to play with them, and then release them. I don't think they believed me. Ah but it is 74 degrees weather wise so I will not complain to much. Small live bait did produce 4 blue-gill keepers so lunch was assured. And since I still have tomorrow life is good.

Things I appreciate today:
1. Warm weather
2. Peace and quiet on the banks of a very nice lake
3. The day off from work & one more tomorrow
4. My good health
5. Blue-gill for lunch

See ya

Friday, January 9, 2009

TGIF WTF

Friday-CRS-Where did the week go? It has been said many times that as you grow older the time flies faster. Great I lost a whole week somewhere. It happens when you love your job, and I LOVE my job. I wake up every morning thinking what can I create today.

The only thing better than my job is camping and fishing. So this weekend a trip to a local pond is in order. The camper is always ready, and stocked with food, and the tools required to do battle with the bass,and blue gills. The bass for the fun on light tackle will be released to fight again. The blue-gill unfortunately will become table fare. Nothing beats a platter of pan fried freshly caught fish, and a cold beer setting next to the camp fire.

See ya

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I am rich

Ha the Power Ball payoff: $3.00. And my friends said the lottery was a rip-off, what little do they know. A $5.00 investment paid $3.00 in return for a negative of $2.00. Sounds like the stock market to me.

So lottery: -$2.00
Ing: +$5.00

Saturday will be another invitation to go for the gusto. Until then no spending days continue.

See ya

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Redneck Stock Market Payoff?

Since I have nothing invested in the stock market except my lottery ticket (which I call my Redneck Pitfall) will my investment pay HUGE rewards? Can't win if you don't play. Every gamblers statement just before they go broke.

On a very positive note, my $5.00 investment in my Ing account will pay dividends.

I also added a $3.00 check for doing a survey to my Ing account. See it already is growing.

Life is good-Freedom gets closer every day.

You'al have a good day-you hear.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gamble or save-Could you do both?

The Power Ball Lottery has come to Florida. Big deal-how long have we had our own state lottery?

I believe the odds for the Power Ball is something like 197 million to one, and the state lottery is 22 million to one. Both seem like a foolish bet. However I have played the state lottery since it started and I'm not a millionaire yet, so what to do now. Since this is a new year new idea's are sprouting from my feeble brain. How to improve my odds and add funds to my "freedom Fund". From now on every dollar I gamble on the lottery I will match in a saving fund. Am I good or what? Also any winning monies (that's a joke) from the lottery will go to the savings account.

01/06/09 $5.00 to lottery-$5.00 to Ing account. Should be an interesting to see the results at the end of each month. I will keep everybody up to date.

Monday, January 5, 2009

It's Monday again already

Returning to the city gets tougher every time. Leaving the quit of the woods and returning to the traffic, noise, and the trappings of civilization makes one wonder what you did wrong to deserve such punishment. I must have been really bad in my youth.

So quit your bitchin and realize work and free time must balance. Why? Because you need money(from your work) to afford your free time in the woods. But how much? Ah the ramblings of an old man.

Freedom is still something to shoot for and the plan continues. Sold a few items on E-bay today so more funds are in the Freedom Fund.

I have curtailed all un-necessary spending. Off to a good start for the year. I have not spent a dime so far. But may need gas by the end of the week-lets see how far I can push it.

I have decided to work 4/12 hour days, and take three days off this week. Time to get to work. Gotta love it when a plan comes together.

See ya

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cooking in the woods

Is there anything more enjoyable than cooking bacon and eggs in the woods?

Seems everything tastes better when setting in a lawn chair coffee in hand, and a nice plate of bacon and eggs to enjoy. Sure starts the day out right.

This will have to do today-I keep getting tossed of the net-very poor wifi here. But I can live with it for the next three days.

Life is good, and this is a very good way to start the new year. I'm a lucky man.

See ya

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009

2009 What the hell happened to 2008?

2008 was just another year for me. Working to many hours, not near enough fishing and camping. Since 2004 I have said it was time to re-tire and go on the road full time to see some of this great country. There was always something in the way. Have to sell the house and the business, get rid of to much stuff.

After every camping trip the urge becomes stronger, then a quick reality check raises it's ugly head and the problems get resolved, work continues, and another year passes you by.

Hopefully this year the camping God's will shine on me.

I have started the year right. I said I would put up an auction a day on E-Bay. I put up 6 today.

Also after many months of a friend begging me to sell him my big boat he made me an offer I could not refuse. So the big boat is sold. I think I am having chest pains, cold sweats, and to many fond memories of the big boat. On the plus side-first monies deposited to my "Freedom Fund" If any one wishes to donate I would accept any offerings. Just kidding. Put that quarter back in your pocket.

My shop rent is due today, and no further word from the bankruptcy trustee so I'll mail that off today. This problem will be solved by: New landlord wanting me to stay-Building may be sold,and no one stays-or moving the shop to a new location. OR closing down after 28 years and selling off the assets or hell donating them. Believe me giving up something I started from scratch is hard to give up. Catch 22.

At any rate the woods call my name. Leaving tonight for three day camping trip. No worries until Monday morning. I am a LUCKY man.

Wish me luck for the condo auction the 13Th. If it sells-my decision for the shop will be solved. Shut it down and liquidate by auction.