Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just me....

We are the product of our bodies, our life and our times so must all be unique.  I ran across this slightly self-centered little idea at Be A Survivor and thought it might be fun to copy.

Here is what I can definitively say I AM:

I am a 61 year old married white male.

I am a conservative on some issues; liberal on others; not usually rabid about anything.  I remember thinking Kennedy would destroy our nation; then, later, that Reagan would.  Now I am simply glad that I was wrong both times.

I am more in the Libertarian camp than with major parties on most issues and that simply stems from my belief that the government will screw most things up if given the opportunity and are therefore better to not be involved in the first place.  Here's a favorite political writer, now retired, who at least makes me think!

I vote in EVERY election whether it is Federal, State or Local in nature (religiously).

I do not believe that the U.S. is the only country in the world worth living in however it is where I was born and most likely it is where I will die.  I might move if things get too totally stupid here.

I am an athiest.

I am a retired business person (IT), I worked in the business world for several big corporations, who believe it or not treated me quite well.

I had a 401k and a couple of IRAs, yes and I put as much money in it as I could. There is are two phenomenon called dollar cost averaging and the time value of money.  I believe in them both.  I still have
faith in Capitalism but not the purest variety - see Standard Oil and the Rockefellers.  BTW, I retired at 50.

I would like to be a HAM radio operator. It's one of those 'find the time' things.

I am a card carrying member of the National Rifle Assn.  I would like to spend more time at the range but I'm not a hunter.

I am a college graduate; two degrees in fact.

I can balance my checkbook but still can't juggle worth shit!

I drive a pickup truck but I don't have a rifle rack in the back window. I do have a survival rifle (.22 cal) stowed in the cab.  I have a CB too but have only used it to listen to NOAA weather forecasts.

I have had Concealed Weapons Permits from Florida and Washington; I intend to get one for Nevada but....

I procrastinate!

I drink alcohol daily, probably too much, but it has never been an issue for me. My preferred poison is either red wine or scotch on the rocks.

I have never had a flu shot; don't intend to this year... received ALL of my childhood vaccinations of course. I was also in the Army and they certainly believe in vaccines!

I enjoy long walks on the beach and candle lit dinners; but only with certain people.

I love to read and watch movies (nothing too violent, bloody or just plain stupid).

The only sport I follow is Formula 1 Motor Racing.

I have always been a bit of a loner and I really like it that way. I don't have a "best friend" other than my wife.
To be honest she is the only other person whose company that I TRULY enjoy and even she gets on my nerves sometimes!

So, there I am; at least some of me.

"Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing and exact man."  Sir Francis Bacon

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free plug: I love The Economist

We've been receiving The Economist on and off for a few years.  It describes itself as a newspaper; here in the U.S. it would be called a news magazine because of it's format.  Regardless, I love reading it.  It's only drawback for me is that I have difficulty finding the time to read it all.  Yep, even old retired guys have time constraints. 

Today I discovered a great part of their website:  the style section.  Not only do they do a great job of suggesting ways of improving one's writing, they do it with, ... wait for it..., style.  Sorry, couldn't help myself!  Spicing things up are some of the quotes from great writers:  "In general, be concise. Try to be economical in your account or argument (“The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out”—Voltaire)."  My God, how I wish some people I know would read and take to heart that quote from Voltaire!  The only section that troubles me is the part insisting on British spellings:  labour, etc.  But that is a quibble.  It is, of course, a British publication. 

What I like most about it is that it covers the entire world.  American news magazines are too U.S. centric for my taste.  I like hearing what is happening in Uganda or Ecuador; I like reading about Renault's business even though they don't sell cars in this country.  The world is getting smaller by the minute and I want to know as much about it as my limited intelligence will let me grasp.

One last quote from the style section:  "Keep complicated constructions and gimmicks to a minimum, if necessary by remembering the New Yorker's comment: “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.”"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Is it me or you?

I'm back after playing host to visitors since last Wednesday.  My wife's brother & his wife stayed with us for a few days on their way back to the NW.  We had a really good time.  They are different; more widely traveled, more educated than the rest of the family.  He was a career naval officer; she is a published poet.  Nice people.  We didn't do much on Wednesday afternoon; spent most of Thursday visiting Death Valley; and checked out Pahrump on Friday.  Our daughter came over from Vegas Friday to see them and spent the night.

This morning, our daughter left by 06:00; I was just up and she tried to get out without even seeing her mom.  Didn't make it but she was anxious to leave.  The BIL & SIL were up soon after and packed and ran out of here certainly before 07:30.  So, my question is this:  does everyone haul ass out of here because they want to or because they sense we want them gone?   Hmmmm.

This brings up a raft of motivations on both sides; I doubt we'll ever resolve all this and really I doubt if I would have the guts to bring it up.  Some of our feelings are:
- we feel guilt about wanting them gone
- we feel selfish about wanting to be alone.
Their feelings may include:
- they have a long journey and may wish to get started
- they may want to be alone themselves
- they may sense our desire for them to leave.

How do you feel when people leave?  Relieved or sad; or both? 

"It was a delightful visit - perfect, in being much too short."  Jane Austen (in Emma)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The view out my window.....

It's not everyone who has two people walking their burro past their window! Distance maybe 1000 yards; gotta love that Canon S2 IS!

I've been quiet again....

No particular reason but I just haven't been here. I'm reasonably certain that the pinched nerve in my neck has something to do with the amount of time I spend on the computer so I've been trying to cut that down to something 'normal'. Ha! Like I can ever be normal!

The only thing that's got my attention lately is Mr. Obama being given the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm not really against it; certainly he brought a whole new face to the way the U.S. is interacting with the rest of the world, but I'm not certain I like him being recognized at that level for what he has done. As many others have pointed out; it's an award based on his potential. At any rate, here's hoping he can earn the darned thing.

We took the trailer back to the dealer with a couple of warranty problems and I must say it was a great experience. They did the work promptly and without a bit of hassle. Of course, we are using the dealer who sold the unit. If it had been sold by someone in Florida, there might have been some paperwork foolishness. Still, full marks to Johnnie Walker RV in Las Vegas.

One of my favorite bloggers, lawyermom, points out that I might get into trouble for saying something nice about the rv dealer. Well, all I can say is that I didn't get any compensation for that plug. Thanks for the heads-up, lawyermom, if they ever offer me a cup of coffee while I'm waiting I'll know to just say 'no'.

Another favorite blogger, RandomRoger, who is supposed to be a financial guy, came up with a reference to a great article on Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. We do watch his show all the time and pretty much drink his coolaid in regard to treatment of our dog. We are nowhere near consistent enough but we try. Turns out that Cesar is one of those illegal immigrants that we don't hear a lot about - a successful one! Go Cesar! And don't forget to pay your taxes, buddy!

Take it easy, it's dangerous out there!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Whew, made it!

It's official, today I'm sixty-one years of age. Yeah, I know, ancient. Got a birthday card that pointed out it's kind of weird celebrating being closer to death. Never thought of it that way before but I guess it's true enough. Actually you could celebrate that every day. Maybe I should!

We have a quiet day planned. I'm probably going to burn a steak on the barbie tonight, I must be getting old; I'd rather eat at home than go out. Nothing against the local eateries, I just don't get that much of a thrill out of going out any more. We went into Vegas yesterday to do some shopping and had lunch at the Chipotle Grill. That's about as exciting as we get these days.

I was reading an rv'ers blog and he talked about a couple where the man would really love to rv full time and his wife is adamant that they have a regular house. It made me thankful all over again that I'm not in a relationship like that. Our relationship, like most, is a lot about compromise; also a lot about reality. For example, we'd like to travel more than we do but we also really like being home. Until I figure out how to be in two places at once I'm never going to be happy! Tough life, huh.

Here's hoping you all have such a tough life. Be careful, it's dangerous out there.

The smallest actual good is better than the most magnificent promise of impossibilities. Macaulay