Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Got off work today and decided to do the mountain hike - even if 108 degrees outside. Hot climb, but it felt good anyway. Did almost 30 minutes of that. I can't go any longer than that without carrying water with me - so - I am going to get a canteen or something so that I can do a 45 minute to 1 hour climb. The gym is okay, but nature is better. I have given up on my manager finding his MP3 player so I am going to have to buy a new one or maybe find one on Craigslist. My objection to the gym is the horrific music they play in that place. It doesn't motivate me to want to do anything but - leave.

Got home and found out the family finally got approved for their own house to rent, they are leaving on Friday if "all goes well". The guy then informed me that he had a "body in the van outside". That's just gross. I know it's his job and all, but crazy. I asked about the heat, if it's 108 outside, it will get 130 inside that van. He didn't know but he had it in there to take it to the airport at 8:00 - it is being flown to Guatemala. I therefore assumed the body had been embalmed and that was that.

So, anyway, a strange phenomenon ensues. A person cooking a store-bought, frozen lasagna. I have cooked those before, though not any time recently, lasagna and a diet don't mix unless you are referring to the Weight Watcher's version, not near as tasty as the "real" thing but it will have to do.

You see, they all come with cooking directions. Put the thing in there for X number of hours. Well, this person would come into the kitchen, open up the oven, pulled the sliding oven rack out and stick a thermometer into the lasagna. Note that that air conditioning is on, cranking away, attempting to keep it cool in here - well, it does a fine job of that actually, no problems there - but watching this occur over and over began to get a bit disconcerting. The oven would be left open a minimum of 60 seconds and even longer. Is this a big deal? Well, to me, not a huge deal, but let's review: Leaving the oven door open means all that heat escapes out of the oven. Meaning once it is closed again, it will take a while to get back up to the preset temperature. Further, the heat is escaping into the house. Meaning the AC system will have to deal with that heat. I just see dollar signs floating out of the oven when I see that kind of thing going on.

Especially that many times. I didn't say anything, but it got me to thinking. Should I come up with a set of rules, regulations and "best practices" when people move into my house? Should there be a mini-manual of common sense things that you do and don't do? It didn't take me long to come to the answer: no. Probably, most people aren't going to read the thing and secondly, even if they do, if it is person inclined to do things their own way, they aren't going to care.

I stopped runnning ads for the room. I will start up again when I know for sure that there is a sure exit date. The room will have to be cleaned and the bed mattress in that room needs to be replaced. Not too keen on spending money on such things right now, but to make that room rent-able, that mattress is history.

Well, the lasagna saga ended and that was that.

I then directed my attention to 2 things. First, I am an avid fan of the Air Crash Investigation series that National Geographic puts out and I watch different episodes on YouTube rather frequently. I will be through all of them eventually. I found another one and started playing it. But then I remembered that this summer, I want solar sunscreen on the sliding glass door - something I mentioned in another recent entry. I started making phone calls. Ace Hardware Will install the sunscreen on your existing door. Well mine is broken, it's bent. They said they don't carry them but could order one in. I assumed that meant a higher price than I could get one somewhere else.

I started looking online for companies that sell such and realized that probably, Home Depot sells them. Sure enough. I am going to go over tomorrow and see what they have and if they have them with solar screen installed, or if they install it there, or if I can just get the frame. Or even get the frame with regular screening and take it to Ace and get the solar screen installed instead. My kitchen is heating up - again of course - because of the western sun beating on that giant, glass door.

The story with the tenants? I am not a big fan of 3 people living in 1 room and this situation did not start out that way. First it was him, then the girlfriend and then it was the girlfriend's 10 year old daughter, who has been here about a month now. 2 people I can deal with, 3 I think is too much. Too much strain on the household and available resources, not to mention the usage of everything that costs money. Try to find a single person this time that isn't thinking about having someone move in with them.

I was going to end this here, but - drama has struck yet again in the BenB household. I had nothing to do with it - yet. The family people had their door open and they were arguing - intensely and cussing each other out. Big no-no. I don't want to hear ANY of that S*** in my house. I walked down the hallway and abruptly interrupted them: Close the door, I don't want to hear this crap.

They did close the door, the guy left to deliver the body to the airport, a bunch of clothing has been dumped all over the hallway floor. When he gets back, we are definitely going to have a conversation. Number one that junk is getting picked up, cause' if it ain't, I'm throwing it outside. Number 2, I do not tolerate this kind of drama in my house. They want to fight, go somewhere ELSE and shout it out all they want. In my house, not going to happen. I will call the police and have them deal with them if, after I ask them not to do it here, they continue on with it. I have the right to the peaceable enjoyment of my property, that includes tenants living here.

Well, I'm done - for now.

Wednesday 6/15/2011


Wrote this this morning and forgot to post it, lol.

The boasting and gloating is over. That's exactly what I call those people that picketed the Wisconsin state house and finally "won" a victory through a judge. They now lost, though I don't wonder if the thing will be pushed through to a higher court.

From what I have seen of unions, at least the ones in the news, they are extremely petty, extremely selfish and have no interest whatsoever in the companies or entity's well-being that they are working for.

They don't seem to care even if it pushes a company to the point of bankruptcy or even insolvency in their actions to strike against companies because of "unfair" benefits or not enough pay. These people seem to live in la-la land - the economy has tanked, there are millions of people out of work, yet here they are, pushing their agenda: we are unfairly paid and we want MORE!

Join the rest of the crowd - the people that aren't in unions and fend for ourselves. I don't get a pension when I quit my current company. I don't expect to have X amount of percentage added to my pay every year, though I will certainly fight for it. These people, however, are "entitled".

The thing that got me on the fast track to greatly disliking unions is when that Boeing machinists union, I think it was, effectively shut down a giant company who losses because of it were in the hundreds of millions of dollars range.

Whatever. I upped my deduction for 401K earlier this year to 5% and am considering either adding 2 more percent to it or doing a 2% automatic savings plan. There is so much on the internet now from all kinds of sources saying we simply do not save enough money and we end up getting caught red-handed at the "end" - retirement years - meaning having to work longer and longer. Well, frankly, I have no guarantees that I am going to be physically CAPABLE of working at the age of 70, and to be even more frank about it: I am sure I won't WANT to work a full-time job at that age.

It means, to me, that I am going to really have to get my deductions up to at least 10%. I'm beginning to sweat this one: I'm 47 years old and I only have 12k in my retirement account. By now, I should have 200k or more in savings.

I don't know what else to do - at least within my means. I've thought about having another structure built on my property - either a rental unit or my new living quarters and either rent that out or rent out my master bedroom. Take that money and save it. I could get $500 per month for my master bedroom because it has it's own bathroom and walk-in closet, something that people really like and will pay more for.

To that end, I am going to start getting all my tax documents re-assembled and get into an accountant's office and have redo everything and get my money out of that house fire. I'm guessing we're talking another 10k.

Further, there are all kinds of out of work carpenters looking for rooms to rent for free or greatly reduced in exchange for work around the house. As long as they could prove that they are who they say they are in the realm of expertise, the carpentry for the structure would be very cheap. The biggest expense would be the materials and the plans that would have to be submitted to the city along with permits.

This is an idea that is getting more of my attention. With cheap labor plus some of my connections for materials - I work for the company that is the largest, contractor's plumbing supply outlet in the country, or if not, certainly in the top 3, and the fact that I get all that material at cost, the numbers go down in terms of costs.

There is quite a bit of plumbing both in a house and leading up to it.

This is no longer a pipe dream with the money that I already have from taxes and the money I am looking at getting. The other option is to looking at getting another property entirely. Such as the one across the street.

Well, no time to go into all of that now, just something that is "swirling" around in my head and gaining traction as I am finding my paperwork and thinking about getting something going. I don't trust that the money I am going to earn from work and save is going to be enough for retirement, I never have and I have to find some other means to get me there.


Home from work. At a 260 calorie sandwich this morning, but sorta blew it on around 500 calories of something else later on. Well, that still isn't that many calories, really. I went for a hike up into the mountain after work. Nice and hot out there. No one else hiking in those conditions!

That's it.



Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...