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Alright, the tally this week is:

  • Coyote – 1
  • Opossums – 3
  • Squirrel – 2
  • Birds – 3
  • Unidentified – 2

Ok, I don’t have any fresh insights today that wouldn’t cause you to run screaming off a cliff, so here are some “jokes”:

“He’s turned his life around. He used to be miserable and depressed, now he’s depressed and miserable.” – David Frost

“Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out alive.” – Anonymous

“Life is wasted on the living.” – Douglas Adams

“Life is like playing the violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes along.” – Samuel Butler

“In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular.” – Kathy Norris

“Live every day as if it were your last, and then someday you’ll be right.” – Anonymous

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” – Groucho Marx

“It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another – it’s one damn thing over and over.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

“The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.” – Clarence Darrow

“My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can’t decide whether to ruin our carpet or ruin our lives.” – Rita Rudner

By the way, did you read the article “Overworked America: the great speed-up?”  That will depress you. Americans work (if you can find a job) hundreds of hours a year more than ANY other country, with fewer benefits and little or no paid vacation. Welcome to the third world.

Hamsterdreams

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homeless woman

homeless woman

Do you think that if you got laid off tomorrow you could get a job that pays you enough to live on before your unemployment runs out? Really? Do you think that people who aren’t able to get a good paying replacement job are just not trying? Really?

Random thoughts . . .

I’m frustrated, not able to do much since I injured my finger. I read, watch DVD’s on my TV ( I don’t have cable or antennae/ converter box. I putter some in my basement, doing what I can with one finger sticking straight out and swathed with a splint. 

So I read stuff on the internet and try not to feel sorry for myself; there are no hurricanes, tornadoes, major floods or fires here (it rains too much for fires to last very long, and it is so hilly the water runs off into Puget Sound.

We do get some local flooding, and people who are foolish enough to build their homes on hillsides (for the views) sometimes slide off, and there has occasionally been loss of life if they happen to be in the house when this happens, or be foolish enough to be living in the house at the bottom of the hill.

Back to the point of this article:

So I was reading this article on homelessness. If it were not for my family coming to my rescue, this could have been me.   I do have a job, but I wonder from day-to-day how long it will last. The economy is bad, and we aren’t getting enough home remodeling jobs to keep the 3 employees working full-time. My pay is less than half what I used to get as a mechanical engineer.

Think about it. It could be you, and you may be next. Be kind to the homeless.

Hamster report

As anyone who has read this blog knows (and hardly anyone has read this blog, so hardly anyone knows what I’m about to say), I’m a mechanical engineer who is way over 50, and way under 70, which basically makes me unemployable, apparently.  I guess employers haven’t read the news articles screaming the “news” that us baby boomers won’t be able to ever retire, so we will be working until we drop.

They assume I will retire in a few years and therefore do not want to hire me, that is, if there is anyone building anything out there – I do CAD and design HVAC and plumbing for buildings. 

So, anyways, I’m working in an office doing mostly clerical work.  Thank god I learned to spell correctly, as many engineers seem not to be able to do.  Oh, back to the point of this article.

In order to survive financially and hopefully even “retire” or at least cut down to part time work, I have taken on outside work.  It is not tied to construction, so it may actually work for me, no matter what happens to the economy. 

Everyone who still has a place to live with 4 walls and a roof needs heat, natural gas, a phone of some kind, and most seem not to be able to live without cable TV and internet.  The company that sells the video phone also provides all the services listed above.  If one is a representative for this company, one can earn income from getting a small percentage paid to the rep each time the customer pays their bills.  Even so, the services are provided at a lower cost than one pays through the usual utilities providers.

Everyone is using cell phones

Everyone is using cell phones

I gave up TV and go with just internet, so some of us have had it with banal TV. If you are old enough you remember that the purpose of all those commercials was to pay for the TV shows.  Now we still have the commercials, but we are also paying, big time, for the shows.  What is up with that?

So, back to my “extra” income stream.  I put an article about my cool video phone here a few days ago.  I signed up as a rep for the company that sells the phone and the services for it .  I am getting my internet and the video phone for less than I am currently paying for internet plus my home phone.  Just to let you know, like many people, the cell phone service at my house is very poor – so I have to have both cell and home phone. 

I am sending one of these phones to each of my sons, who live thousands of miles away from me.  I want to be able to see my sons regularly, and my granddaughter!  We never were able to get the video and audio programs working properly on all our computers, and this is much simpler to do anyway.  All we have to do is dial (excuse me, I’m showing my age), I mean punch in the phone numbers and when they pick up on the other end, there they are!

For more information, email me at hamsterdreams@gmail.com

Thats all for now!

I got a kick out of reading the article “Wray: The Great Depression and the Revolution of 2017” on the website “Naked Capitalism”.  It made me laugh, because I think the chances of it happening are non-existant, but in my opinion, it would be awesome if it did.  It’s about a 2 or 3 page fantasy about the United States with Dennis Kucinich as president.  The author has Kucinich sending the Marines to invade Goldman Sachs, the Bushes are residing in a “heavily guarded compound” in Saudi Arabia, universal job guarantees and debt cancellation for all Americans.  There is lots more, but you should go read it, it is great.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/05/wray-the-great-depression-and-the-revolution-of-2017.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

What I found surprising, although maybe I shouldn’t, is that so many of the comments on this fictional article were ridiculing it.  If you are so hard hearted as to believe that providing living wage jobs and health care for everyone and holding corporations accountable for their actions is a bad idea, you should also read a non fiction book by Joe Bageant, called Deer Hunting with Jesus, in which he describes what our countries economic and educational policies have done to our country and too many of our citizens.

The Hamster – do you dare know the truth?

I have been kind of bummed out the last few days because I found out my best friend was laid off last week.  She went to work on Wednesday, and that morning they just took her aside and said, “You’re out of here.”  No warning, none of that “You have two weeks” or anything. Just full time employment one day and none the next.  Like many of us she wasn’t making enough to put money aside and save for the rainy day.

Like me, she has a 4 year degree and like me, she can’t find a job in her field.  She’s a teacher.  I’m a mechanical engineer.  She was working in a manufacturing facility doing production work.  We could probably join the ranks of the job refugees and move from city to city and state to state pursuing the next job possibility.  But I have an elderly mother I care for and all her relatives are in this state.

We are both over 50, which is probably part of the problem as far as getting hired goes.  Employers want people they figure they can pay less, even though when I spent my 12 months job hunting I kept stating that I was willing to work for less and that I was ok with that, I just wanted to work.  It didn’t help.  I never got a job offer in this state (Washington); got a few from Chicago and from Dallas.

So, as I said above are we now expected in this job climate to move every 6 months or so to a completely new city and state in order to be employed?  I guess the corporations that are actually running this country would love that.  A person moving every year or so would have no friends or relatives living close by to help them out; they would be entirely at the mercy of the employer.  Anyone ever hear of unpaid overtime?  No wonder most of the country is on antidepressants and hopped up on caffeine.

There is much discussion about how many in the United States are really unemployed.  It is my understanding that when we are given a report on the number of unemployed it is really counting those who are collecting unemployment insurance.  Anyone who is thinking will know that unemployment benefits run out after a period of usually less than one year.  With extensions it may last a year or possibly a bit longer, but it does not go on much more.  So really, how many unemployed are there?  A rule of thumb I have heard is to double whatever the reported rate is, which would make the current rate near 20% unemployment.  If you gasp at that, read the report from the Washington Post at this link:

Washington Post says around 17%:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/economy-watch/2009/09/actual_unemployment_rate_hits.html

New York Post says more like 22%:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/how_nation_true_jobless_rate_is_N4E6MjtfhnMcCi537pucaJ

Economy in Crises reports 21% unemployment:

http://www.economyincrisis.org/content/real-unemployment-rate-over-21

Whats my point?  I don’t have a point, I’m pissed.  That is my point.  A nation of angry, educated, unemployed people; hmm, what could possibly go wrong with that picture?  George Orwell had it right; only its not the government that is Big Brother, it is the Corporations.  Think about it.

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