Saturday, February 28, 2009

HOA From Hell #5

Have I mentioned that I hate homeowners associations?  Mine has become a royal pain in the ass, or at least the "Trash Nazi" roaming our streets is one.

On February 10th, our new trash regulations went into effect.  Today we received a notice from the HOA saying that we were not in compliance with the new regulations because we were not using a "secured trash container."  The new rules stipulate that we must use a 20-50 gallon Rubbermaid style of trash with a lid.  We are also not allowed to have those containers on the "exterior" of the house, except on trash pickup days. 

We are using a 20 gallon Rubbermaid trash can.  We have a lid.  The problem is, that we usually have  three tall kitchen bags of trash to put out on pickup days in that trash can.  With two bags in the larger can, the bags end up being higher than the top of the can.  It is impossible to put the lid on the can at that point.  Even if we had a larger container, three bags would not allow us to put the lid on the can.

We live in a fairly small townhouse.  They want us to recycle, so we have a large recycling bin.  We have a 20 gallon trash can to store our trash in for pick up days.  There isn't room in our home for a larger trash can or multiple trash cans.  In today's economy, I definitely do not have an extra $70 or the space to buy a 50 gallon container.

Our old rules did not require the use of a trash cans.  Most of the residents (us included) would simply put the bags out by the curb.  Most of the time, there was no problem with animals getting into the trash, though it probably wasn't the best situation.  I have no problem using a can.  We still have a lot of people that are not using any kind of container.  I am using the type of container they say I need to use.  The only problem is that the lid won't fit on the can.  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Presidential Address

In a couple hours, our illustrious leader, Barack Obama will address both houses of Congress and the American people.  I still have not decided whether or not I am going to watch it or not.  Right now, I am probably leaning against it.  I have two reasons to not watch, and two reasons to watch.

First, I am really tired tonight and might just want to go to sleep a little earlier than usual.  I had a really bad day at work today.  Traffic to and from work was particularly bad, so I got to work late and got home late.  We also got some "not so good" news in regards to compensation and benefits.  Like a lot of companies, they are cutting back in some areas because of the economy, but at least nobody is losing their job.

Second, I really can not stand to hear the man's voice.  Every time I hear him speak I find myself shouting at the television or radio.  After the day I had today, why would I want to pile more aggravation on top of all that? 

When the election was over and I expressed some of my concerns about where Obama would take the country, my friend UBM tried to assure me that Obama was too smart to govern from the left and would govern from the center.  I wonder if he still feels that way, because there has been nothing in the first five weeks of his presidency that I would even remotely agree with.

For instance, let's take Obama's stance on getting off our addiction to foreign oil.  I am all for doing that, but let's be realistic.  Alternative energy is not anywhere close to being developed enough to provide for all our energy needs.  They need to be explored and developed, but until they are viable, we need to also take advantage of the oil in ANWAR and in the continental shelf.  We also need to explore increasing our use of nuclear power.  Neither of those options seem to fit in with Obama's plan.

About the only compelling reason that I have for staying up to listen to the speech is that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is giving the Republican response to the speech.  Everything that I have heard from him has been impressive.  It would be nice to hear everything for myself instead of just soundbites and commentary through the media, but I really am leaning towards hitting the sack early. 

In all fairness to President Obama, if there is anybody's voice I can't stand more than his, it would be Nancy Pelosi.  Oh, and Harry Reid pretty much sucks as well.

Like a fool I have been watching it.  Right now it is about 9:45.  Is it just me or does Joe Biden look pissed every time that ignorant bitch Pelosi stands up to applaud? (I actually wanted to use a stronger description of her, but I edited myself.)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Music Monday-Damn Yankees "Coming of Age"

In 1989, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, and Ted Nugent joined forces to create the band Damn Yankees.  Their self titled debut album went double platinum in 1990.  I never got to see Damn Yankees, though I did see Jack Blades when he toured with Night Ranger, and I saw Tommy Shaw when he toured with Styx and at the 9:30 Club in DC when he released his solo album.  I really felt the need to rock out, so here is Damn Yankees with "Coming of Age." 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

2nd Amendment

The second amendment of the United States Constitution states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  Liberals and Conservatives probably debate the meaning of this amendment more than any other.  Conservatives interpret the amendment to provide the right of the individual to bear arms.

Let me say, that I do not own a gun.  Never have, probably never will.  Quite frankly they make me a little nervous.   Having said that, I would never want to infringe on the right of law abiding citizens to own weapons.  I do believe that anybody who wants to own a gun should be required to take a firearms safety course and undergo a background check.  I would have no problem if the state required a licensing test to own a gun.  You have to show the ability to drive a car, and you should be able to demonstrate the ability to handle a firearm responsibly.  

This is not intended to be a comprehensive argument for owning guns.  That is well beyond me.  However, if any of the male readers need another compelling argument for the right to bear arms, I submit the video below.  In the spirit of full disclosure, even though those are my views on the subject, all of the above is really an excuse to post the video below.  I can be so shallow sometimes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Office Work

On Monday when I get to the office I think I will do a little rearranging of the shelves in the copy room.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Be Careful What You Name Your Kids-Part 2

Last August, I shared the story of a massage parlor worker from Colorado with the name of Mi Sook Yoo who was arrested in a prostitution raid. Her name was a source of mild amusement on my part due to the charges she faced. Well lightning has struck again.

This time, the incident took place in Tampa, FL at the Innerscent spa. The woman pictured in the adjacent mug shot was charged with two counts of prostitution and two counts of practicing massage without a license. In their arresting affidavits, the officers say she offered to perform oral sex on them at the end of the massage for a fee of $150. Her name; Ho Suk Kim.

Being A Dad

On Saturday, a jewelry store in my neighborhood was having a precious metal dealer in the store paying cash for gold and other precious metals. I had a few items on my dresser that I no longer needed; a couple broken chains and a couple rings that no longer fit. Just for grins, I decided to see how much money they would offer me for these useless pieces of metal. I walked out of the store with $160 of "found money."

It is rare that I have the opportunity to splurge on something for myself. For the rest of the weekend, I contemplated about what goodies I could get for myself. I considered using the money to buy a Flip video recorder. There are a number of books I would like to check out, so I considered going on a little shopping spree at the local Barnes & Noble. There was nothing though that left a burning desire in my mind, so I decided to hold on to the money until I found something I had to have.

Well, yesterday I spent the money. I did not buy any of the things that I originally considered. In fact, I ended up not buying anything for me. Yesterday, my son's Playstation Portable ceased operating. Seeing how upset he was that he could no longer play his favorite games, I spent the whole amount on a new PSP for my son. So, for now, I will be holding off on getting anything for me. I guess that's just part of being a dad. It was money well spent.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Music Monday-Meatloaf "Paradise By The Dashboard Light"

Sometimes in the heat of the moment we make promises we later regret.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Little Something On The Side

In today's economy, I fully understand the need for somebody to have a part time job.  I have had part time jobs in addition to my full time positions for most of my adult life.  So I do not begrudge Amber Carter of Ohio for having a part time job to supplement her income as a 4th grade teacher.  After all, we all know that teaching is not the most lucrative career.

Ms. Carter's choice of a part time job has gotten her into a little bit of hot water.  Ms. Carter was arrested and charged with prostitution.  In addition, she is accused of using the school's computer to arrange for her "dates," and using a half day of sick leave to go meet her potential client.

In all seriousness though, I do not have a problem with Ms. Carter's alleged part time activities.  I think there are far more serious offenses in the world for the police to use their resources.  In my opinion, as long as the parties are willingly participating in the activity, that it should be regulated and taxed for the safety of those involved.  About the only problem I really have with the Amber Carter case is using the school computer for her activities and letting her part time job interfere with her ability to perform her full time vocation. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

Top 5 Things That Irked Me Today

Maybe I am just getting old, but I seem to be getting more cranky and little things seem to irk me more and more.  Today was just one of those days that seemed to really irk me, so here are the top 5 things that more or less pissed me off today.  Some of these (OK most of them) are pretty petty, but so be it.
  1. I got in the elevator this morning from our parking garage.  There was nobody else in the elevator with me.  However, a previous passenger had so much perfume on that she left her scent in the elevator for the next person.  Perfume/after shave is supposed to be subtle, not overpowering.
  2. If you work in a cubicle farm like I do, for God's sake try to keep the volume level down in consideration of others around you.  I should not hear every word you say in every phone conversation you have during the day.
  3. People who cut me off in stop and go traffic.  I mean really.  None of the lanes are moving very quickly.  Why do you have to cut me off to move forward an extra two car lengths.  Are you really going to get there any more quickly?
  4. I have always viewed walking down the hallway the same as I view driving on the road.  This is America and we drive on the right hand side of the road.  Consequently, I think we should walk on the right hand side of the hallway.  Why are there so many people in my office that walk on the wrong side of the hall causing me to have to move to the side to avoid running into them?
  5. I needed to stop at the grocery store on the way home tonight.  As is typical, there were not enough cashiers manning the registers.  No big deal.  I do not mind using the self checkout that is available.  However, one of the items I wanted to purchase could not be purchased at self checkout.  So, Mr. Retailer, either have enough cashiers to handle the customers, or allow me to make all of my purchases at the self checkout without having to make another stop at customer service.  

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Music Monday-Jim Croce "Operator"

When I was playing guitar on a regular basis, this was one of the songs that I used to like to play.  I loved Jim Croce's music.  He died way too young.  

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

FairTax-Part 1

Earlier this week, I finally received the last tax form I needed to complete my taxes.  Fortunately, I am getting both a state and federal tax refund.  

While it is nice to get a refund on my taxes, I would rather have all the money I earn in my pocket.  The FairTax accomplishes that.  I first heard about the FairTaxwhen I read Neal Boortz's book "Somebody's Gotta Say It."

I wanted to see if I would really benefit by the FairTax, so I used the FairTax Calculator.  According to the calculator, if the FairTax were implemented, I would have 4.34% more spendable income, $1763 more purchasing power, and $2198 less in Federal Taxes.  

I would encourage you to try out the FairTax Calculator.  If you find like I did that you would benefit from the FairTax, write your Congressman and ask them to support the FairTax.    

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Day the Music Died

February 3, 1959.  It has been 50 years since the day the music died.  Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Vallens, three of rock-n-rolls biggest stars at that time died in an airplane crash.  It was a little more than two years before I was born.  As a kid, I remember being home while my parents listened to these oldies.  At the time, there was no way you could admit you liked this stuff.  The folks listened to these guys as well as Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and others.  Over the years, I have come to appreciate more and the music that was made before I was born.  Not only the old rock, but also the old bluesmen like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, and old country stars like Hank Williams, Sr.

Here are Buddy Holly with "Peggy Sue," the Big Bopper with "Chantilly Lace," and Ritchie Valens with "Oh Donna."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Music Monday-Jimmy Buffett "Margaritaville"

It's February.  It's cold.  And I want to be at the beach.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Glad Force Flex vs Hefty Ultra Flex

Several months ago, my wife came home with our first box of Glad Force Flex Kitchen trash bags.  We have been using them ever since.  I was very impressed with the way you could put a lot more garbage into the bag without the bag breaking.  We have been through about 10 or 12 boxes of them.  In that time, we have had maybe two bags get a tear in them, and at most it was a small puncture.

About 2-3 weeks ago I was doing my grocery shopping and knew we needed trash bags.  I was going to get my usual Glad Force Flex, but noticed that the store had Hefty Ultraflex bags on sale.  I figured with Hefty being a well established national brand, and the picture on the box looking like the Glad bags, I would be safe in buying the Hefty and saving a couple bucks.  Big mistake.

We are still going through that box of Hefty Ultraflex bags.  I have had as many bags rip in that one box as I had in 10 boxes of Glad Force Flex bags.  One of the tears was a hole about 4 inches across and led to old coffee grounds spilling on the kitchen floor.  I had to put that bag in a second bag to keep the garbage from spilling all over the place.

Needless to say, when doing my shopping today, when I saw that the Hefty bags were reduced 33%, I picked up the Glad.


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