Thursday, October 30, 2008

It's almost time to celebrate the Harvest

Maya the hot dog
How do we go about celebrating the harvest? Well, if we really knew or cared about how crops are harvested, distributed and consumed, we might do something. But do we really care? No. We go to the store and buy stuff that was harvested months ago probably. Anyways, tomorrow is Halloween, the real holiday that will be celebrated, no matter what we call it. And everyone celebrates it differently. The word 'celebrate' is also used differently. Going to church and getting lots of free candy is cause for celebration, but the ancient traditions of Halloween may not be something I will throw a party over. But I digress. Or do I? Did I have a point I was trying to make? Actually no. So I'm not digressed. I'm just random. Well, here is our little hot dog girl. Jenni and I are going to be vendors trying to sell hot dogs. I finally have a reason to wear my bow tie again! Sweet!

Katie stabbing

Emily stabbing
Well, one thing that needs to be done (so I'm told) is carve pumpkins. Last year we had a back stabbing party with the Hinkles and family (sans Nathan) (I feel so smart using 'sans') and carved pumpkins and ate taco soup. It was unseasonably warm last year, as it was this year. So we have yet to go to Starbucks and sip drinks in the cool weather after we carve. Perhaps next year will be good for that.... here are some random photos from the times.

Don't laugh, but this is my background music for today

This year's carving party
[Flickr Album]
Last year's carving party
[Flickr Album]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

just not Obama?

Them: Why are you voting for McCain? You are, right?
Me: Well, yeah - because I don't can't stand to see Obama be the President.
T: Is that all?
M: Well.... no.
T: What do you like about McCain that's different than Obama?
M: Well, that's obvious - what a ridiculous question.
T: Such as...?
M: Uh, he isn't... uh. Well, I heard somewhere...
T: So you can't really name a reason why you are voting for McCain other than he's not Obama?
M: It's more complex than that, but yes.

How much does that exchange suck? Quite a bit. "Them" is basically my mind arguing with myself (I'm not talking to myself out loud and rocking back and forth). However, I would like to extend a 'thank you' to a friend who is supporting Obama in opening up dialog with me. I don't know if she read my post a few ago or not, but it is appreciated. She's winning the argument too. I'm not a hard person to debate. I told you that. She's making me think and look into stuff myself that I was too dumb to do earlier.

One problem with both candidates: they both promise stuff they cannot deliver on. They don't make the laws - Congress does. The President doesn't have the power to do pretty much everything they both are saying they will do.... we'll just ignore this for now and pretend they will have free reign to pass whatever legislation they want.

Fiscal policy/Economy
McCain: Says he will balance the budget by vetoing any bill that has pork, or earmarks. Implement a moratorium on spending for a year, pay down the deficit and keep the government to a 2.4% growth rate.
Obama: "if Washington were serious about honest tax relief in this country, we'd see an effort to reduce our national debt by returning to responsible fiscal policies.” However, I can't see where he says he wants to balance the budget. Probably because that would be impossible to do if he is to implement all his government programs. He does want to cut pork, but will allow some to pass through. How will he chose what pork to allow? Depends on who paid his campaign more money.

Obama wants to give 'tax cuts' to 'middle class' families. No, he wants to give away tax credits to millions of Americans who don't even pay taxes. Give thousands of dollars to people who don't pay taxes? What word could be used to describe this? Oh, there I go again - anti-Obama, that 'misguided' socialist.

There is no argument that these large corporations have taken over and gotten out of control with their thirst for money and power. But that's human nature. We are selfish, greedy people naturally. The thing is, the companies who made all this money, they are publicly held companies! Anyone could own a portion of the company and share in the wealth they ammased. What happened instead? Those 'stimulus' checks and people's paychecks to go buying the crap these companies make and go into more debt. So rather than the consumer, the middle-class, being smart with their money - they waste it. They could invest in these 'evil' companies or they can just give them their money in exchange for the 'evil' crap they produce. (The moral of this tangent = personal responsibility should be priority over government hand-holding)

I just vomited in my mouth as I was researching more topics to discuss just now.

Here's the decision. McCain wins on Economic policy for me. He still believes in capitalism, in free-market systems. I agree that there needs to be oversight, there needs to be jail time, there needs to be reclamation of earnings from shady business practices. But I also believe in the entrepreneur. The small business. In the American Dream (no that isn't home ownership, that's opportunity). How do we encourage new business and growth of current ones if we say to the small business owner, "Go ahead and make money. Be successful. But if you make $xx you will have to give us just about 1/2 of what you make in taxes now." That discourages growth. That encourages more shady business. Giving away more tax-breaks isn't a good idea, but raising the taxes is certainly a bad idea for business. It doesn't matter how you slice it, Obama is for a more socialistic government than anything this country has seen.

Monday, October 27, 2008

How not to start the week off

This is not my
alarm clock.
Have you ever woke up on a Monday morning...early? I did. Today. I could blame Maya for starting to cry at 4:45, but I think my body was actually ready to be awake. Needless to say,I stayed in bed until 5:30 when I had set my alarm so I could get up and read before work. The morning started off nice. I took a nice, warm shower - even had time to shave too. I was dressed, Maya was asleep again and 6am was on the clock. Two options stood before me: (1) stay at home and sit on the couch, read for a bit, then drive off to work (2) head out early to the bus stop, read on the bus, let someone else drive, save gas and conserve resources. I chose option 2 thinking this was the best option.

Not the bus I rode
When I pulled up to the bus stop at 6:10 I thought I was on the right track for the day. I was excited to read the Bible on the way to work, A Shatter Visage on the way home. When the bus pulled up I jumped out the car and put my money in the money-taker machine on the bus. I thought to myself that there is certainly a lot of people on this bus. Last year when I rode I was one of maybe three people on the bus. When I got on, the bus was full, and there were a lot of military people on board. Odd I thought but the time was right for pickup so I found a seat and started reading. After a couple turns (the wrong way) I figured something bad was happening and I laughed to myself for being so dumb. I didn't know how far Schriever Air Force Base was, but I knew it was a ways away, and I was getting a ride there.

Reading while I wait.
I'm on my way to the AFB and I feel the bus coming to a stop. Looking up I see we are pulling into the Walmart in Falcon, CO to pick up a few more people. {phew} After four more people load the bus the driver begins to close the door, I inform him that I got on the wrong bus and he lets me out. 6:30AM. Cold. I start walking to the front of Walmart to hangout inside until I figure out what to do. As I got close, it seems this wasn't a 24hr store. Crap! Oh, there's a Carl's Jr. across the way, they are open for breakfast, I'll wait in there. Crap! Only their drive-thru was open! Ok, well I'm all sorts of cold by now so I figure it can't hurt to walk up to the doors at Walmart to check their openness. They were open.

Maya greeting me
I called Jenni at 6:45 to ask if she could come save me. She wasn't thrilled. I grabbed a donut and sat in the vestibule reading until she showed up. Jenni did show up to save me. She had our little Maya with her, because we don't encourage leaving children alone at home - even if they are sleeping. Jenni wasn't thrilled to see me, but Maya was happy. She said, "Daddy, you're really dumb, but I think you're my favorite still." Oh what a bad start to the day. I was 45 minutes late to work, robbed Jenni of one of her few sleep-in days, got a belly ache from the donut/coffee combo I consumed, and forgot to bring a lunch. But on the bright side, I could have been a couple hours late to work had they not stopped at Walmart.

That's the morning - once I get to work, it's non-stop calls, yet again. I was expecting that so I wasn't caught off guard. But I was busy. The morning flew by. Lunch time! I'm sitting in the break room eating some pizza and my phone shakes. What's this? I got a text? Looking at my phone I almost poop my pants! In 5 minutes I have an orthodontic appointment! Work is 10 minutes drive away! Oh dear! Oh crap! I hate being late to those!

My stupid blue ties
and my extra large gap
Especially for this one because they are going to shave my front teeth and reshape them. I call on my way, turns out I was 10 minutes late. The tooth shaves didn't hurt, it just sounded all sorts of horrible and it smelt like burnt hair. You know when you would take a lighter and singe the hairs on your arm? Yeah, that's what it smelt like. (Or is it smelled? Spell check accepts both words... crap!) To punish me for being late, they not only put the biggest, most painful wires in my mouth (that moved my teeth immediately - PAIN) but they put the wrong color ties on, giving me a bright blue smile like a little 6th grade girl!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Are Obama Supporters Cowards?

Simple question - I'm not making any judgments. Just asking a question.

I know there are a good number of people who support Mr. Obama that know their stuff. They know his policies, where he stands on issues, his 'plan' for America (Why they still support him still, I will never understand). They know more about their candidate than I know about mine. Wait - I don't have a candidate.

The fact is, I didn't memorize McCain's policies. I don't have Obama's memorized either. I never took a debate class. I'm not a hard person to argue with because I'm persuadable. I love arguing or discussing issues with people, as long as they are civil and honest about the topic, because it helps me understand more about what I believe. I'll argue devil's advocate often enough too.

But why is it with this election, it seems most of my friends who decided to support Obama are either closet Obama supporters or they will get mad and ignore you if you say anything against him? (I just now got sick of seeing the squiggly red line below "Obama" as a spelling error so I added him to my dictionary... uhg. I hope my computer doesn't start aborting babies) Seriously - why can't we have a debate? I have some friends on Facebook that would rather tippy-toe around the subject and be nice. NO. I want to know WHY you support this guy who has no executive leadership experience. I want answers to a handful of other questions.

That is why I've come to conclude cowardice as the only reason no one has done anything but censor and ignore me. They are scared to realize their candidate is like one of the pigs from Animal Farm. (click there to read it for free online, thx Google)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mail Organizer

I have been absent from the craftings for quite a while. We've been trying to get out of debt and all of our extra money has either gone to debt or our baby. We've been in need of something to un-clutter our kitchen counters and when I came across these plans, I thought this would be an OK investment to try to construct. I figure I can get all the materials for no more than $30. Now it comes down to how much free time I have. It's getting cold outside and my garage has no heating vents. It may be a good idea to get a space heater to put out there.

So, where did I get this idea for building this organizer? Lowes, believe it or not. They send out a woodworking magazine for free and in it they have a few project ideas. I'm going to try to buy the materials this weekend and get started.

I could really use a router though to make it look all sorts of good, but that will have to wait until Christmas (I hope).
Note from Brett (8/29/13) This post was copied from a wood working blog I had started that I let go. Rather than delete the blog, I decided to copy the posts over to my "normal" blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama is the answer. Obama is the problem.

How is it you can ask a question and get two completely opposite answers, both being true?

Question: How do we begin the process of turning the United States of America from a capitalistic democracy to a communist dictatorship?
Answer: Barack Obama is the answer. Barack Obama is the problem.

Depends on how the person asking the question feels about the outcome. Do you really want the USA to become a communist nation or not?

Now, as ridiculous as this is sounding - I'm being serious. Granted, if Obama becomes President, the USA won't turn into the USSR over night. It won't happen in 4 years. I do believe in the citizens of this country enough and most of her leaders that a revolution such as what was seen back when Russia converted will not ever happen here. These politicians are smart and realize that. This will be a slow crawl towards communism. Little changes here. Slippery slope there. Soon enough there are enough policies in place that we won't notice the changes anymore. We'll get comfortable. Sure a few of us will complain, but not enough to do anything about it. And those who complain enough will be silenced.

No way, Brett, that cannot happen! Oh really? What about gas prices? According to the Dept. of Energy the average price for regular gas in 2000 is $1.54. The average price for the same gas this year is $3.61. I felt like stabbing my face just a couple days ago. I went to get gas and I was excited to see it was under $3.00. Like this is something to celebrate? We're just used to high gas prices now.

What else are we used to that we really shouldn't be? Income tax. Sales tax. Carbon tax? Oh, no that's in a few years (thanks Mr. Obama!). Anyways, to partially ruin my own argument, I'll relent that some taxes are necessary. But when it comes to raising them again and again. No. That is where I draw the line. Republicans say Obama is going to raise your taxes. Democrats say that's not true. What are you going to believe? Try believing in yourself and use some common sense.

The thing is, Obama is going to raise corporate taxes. This isn't just those big, evil oil companies and those who "ship American jobs overseas" (that's a whole other topic I might talk about later), but the majority of the American small businesses! Hey, stupid Americans, here is a lesson in business. A corporation is a legal designation of a business. It doesn't mean a giant workplace. Construction contractors are incorporated. Print shops are incorporated. Shops in the mall are incorporated. Best Buy is incorporated. Although the size and revenue generated by all these different small business aren't the same, all these businesses have one thing in common. They exist to make money by providing goods and services. What happens when these evil business owners now have to pay even more taxes from their earnings? Will they just sit back and make less money? Uh - no. That would be stupid. "Why yes, I enjoy making less money for myself and giving more the government." Who says that!? What's going to happen is in order to make that money back, this employer will cut hours, benefits, layoff people, not hire new help, or any combination of that. Tell me how that is good for the working people of America?

It's simple. It's complicated.

Lower the tax burden on corporations. They start making more money. They want to make more money. They hire more people to keep up with the demand of the public. They can't make more money without more employees. They hire more people.
Take people's money from people who work hard and give it to people who don't want to work at all. How does the normal, smart American not see anything wrong with that?

Briefly now. Communism. Socialism. Whatever you want to call it. It doesn't work. History people! Learn from your past or you are doomed to repeat it, right? What has the 1900's taught us of socialism? Where is the USSR? It failed. It failed miserably. Now those poor people are struggling to put their economy together and its almost 20 yrs later! Why would we want to screw our selves that bad? Sure our economy doesn't seem the greatest right now. But it's still free markets. The system is still in place. Our economy is driven by us, the people. We have the power to make it work or collapse it. If Obama and his communist friends get elected, we will begin to see a shift towards more policies that don't work. Seriously people! Wake up, think critically. Think logically.

On a side note, speaking of the free market system, if Obama is elected and we start to see our country go down the tube - I'm going to sell "Don't blame me, I didn't vote Communist" bumper stickers. I'll make tons of money.... to give to the government.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Patterns don't lie

(fitting blog title lately - trying to make sense... good luck following my train of thought)

I'm sure you've run across someone who is having hard times. You get to talking with them and you start to pick up a pattern. This person keeps running into the same problem wherever he goes. Being the objective outsider you say to yourself something like, "This guy has the problem, not these other people he's talking about."

Is it possible to be an objective outsider with yourself? Partially. I can't see it all, I have blind spots still, but I know the problem is me. It has to be. Patterns don't just happen by coincidence. If so, I'm the unluckiest bloke alive!

Going back from my first jobs to now, I have some supervisors who just love me. I have some supervisors who want nothing more than to get rid of me. Sometimes it's taken me a while to figure out the supervisor I thought was a nice, good boss turns out to be the worst ones to work under. They seem to go out of their way to do stuff to bother you. They want to seem the "nice person" still to everyone else, so they don't want to fire you, they just make your job hell and hope you just quit or do something so wrong they can fire you and they won't be the bad guy.
I've also worked for the supervisors who are just outright against me. Quite open about their dislike for me. For some reason, I'd welcome working for those guys than the previous. Working at a grocery store I saw the two types of bosses. Working at the movie theater, I saw the two. Working at coffee shops, I've seen the two types. Working at the Dirty Bird, other restaurants and so on, and so forth - you get the idea. There is a pattern. That isn't bad luck - that is a problem with myself. But what is it? Am I really that anti-social? The corporate world is really not for me? What the crap! Nothing makes sense.

Jenni mentioned something about me getting out of my comfort zone and get to know people. To interact with more people. To show them I care. That is hard and I know it's good advice, but why bother? I prefer to be alone, but I need to have people around. Balance it out, Brett. How? When? Who? Sometimes people annoy me, are those the ones I should befriend? Build that character! Or do I avoid them, find people that share my interest and joys and pursue their friendship? Ha! Where do you find those people! If I did find someone like that - I wouldn't know what to do. I've been burned too much in the past by friends.... uhg! What the heck.

Root issues here: I'm a screwed up, apathetic, stubborn, anti-social, unskilled fellow. Oh, but don't forget, I'm a child of God, with more value than could ever be expressed....
Solution: I dunno. I'm too poor for medication. I'm too deep in poo to care. I'm too stubborn to give up now. I'm too shy to break out and talk. I'm too dependent on a job to go back to school.

Screwed? I'm stuck in a pretty wicked pattern alright.