In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
Warning: There's not a thing about doughnuts, unicorns, butterflies, and other sweet joys in today's post. Maybe next time. Here's an issue that no politician wants to address, I betcha: How does government encourage private companies, small and large, to create new jobs, as well as to keep current jobs, when part of the basic business model to succeed is to employ "cheap labor"? Ah, what's that some say: Get rid of the minimum hourly wage rate. Hoo, boy. The federal minimum wage, since 2009, is $7.25 per hour. If you work full-time at 40 hours per week, you earn a gross weekly pay of $290. Now, let's take at least 30 percent from that for taxes (FICA, federal, state, and disability). Wowza! A whopping $203 to spend for fun and essentials for the week. Bear in mind that some people receive more net pay according to the number of dependents they claim. Too bad we can't claim our pets. Oh, and let's not forget some workers may also be co
Last week I decided to experiment with our food budget. Not that I—or we—keep one. Formally, that is. I just figured that since we are being conservative about the flow of money out of our pockets these days, why not pretend how it would be if we had to suddenly depend on food stamps. This is be a good time to try it, too, since our staples in both the pantry and freezer are running low. Did you know that the monthly average benefit for a household in California is $200? Are you shocked too? By the way, it isn't easy to qualify for food stamps. Plus, you need to have the proper documents to prove that you are eligible. And, anyone who receives food stamps, only gets them for a limited time and must meet specific conditions during that period. That said, I really don't understand why some people go insanely rabid about others who finally give in and jump through hoops with hopes of qualifying for some financial help to keep from starving. Seriously. You can only use food stamps
Several days ago, the Mama fell twice as she was watering her vegetables. I didn't see either fall, but fortunately she told me about each one just after it happened. I had gone out to give her a juice drink. It was a hot day and my mission was to keep her hydrated whether she liked it or not. As I waited for her to gulp her drink (Sipping? No such thing when she's on a task), she mentioned that she was wet because she slipped and fell on top of the beans. If she hadn't said anything, I wouldn't have noticed she was wet. When I looked at the beans, I couldn't tell that anything was wrong. The woman is that light. "Here, let me finish watering," I said, reaching for the hose. "No, I can do it," she said, swerving away from me. After three times of going back and forth, I let it go. After nine years of living with her, I have finally learned to choose my battles. Assured that she hadn't hurt herself, I went back inside to work. Ab
How much is that designer bag in the window? Warning: If you're not in the mood for political musing, come back next week. I may be in a better mood and write about my usual nothingness. Maybe . The other evening , Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke at a fundraising dinner at which donors paid several thousands of dollars to be there. Some as much as $50,000. Some, possibly more. Romney, dear heart that he is, acknowledged that he and they, his donors, in the room are doing golly-gee well in this horrid economy. (That's my paraphrasing of his words) But, continues Romney, lover-boy of cheap labor . . . of course, he is. What true-blooded rich man doesn't like cheap labor. It (meaning cheap labor) is a necessary element for becoming true-blooded rich. It's basic Economics 101 . . . . As I was saying, Romney told his donor that they are in the money while the waiters and waitresses who were serving them their dishes of delectable food and drink
The other day I was doing research about Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the father of modern rocketry. Interesting fellow that Dr. Goddard. Quite a visionary. A lot of people thought he was a crackpot. That all changed when the space program began. Ah, then the adulation and the awards came left and right for the man. Unfortunately, Dr. Goddard was dead by then. I hadn't planned on telling you that, but there it is. What I did want to mention was that Dr. Goddard had a personal holiday that he called his anniversary day. He celebrated the day he was a kid sitting in a tree and looked up into the sky and had an epiphany about rockets and space. Yes, I know. Pretty cool. Not to worry though. I'm not going to go into the technical stuff about rockets and space. Not like I could. The important part here is that I decided that I need a personal holiday. When I was in my early 20s, I was influenced by the unbirthday idea and did that for a year or so. I chose July 15 because that was
We are on a strict budget right now. Not that I'm complaining. The flow of income can get very tight when you choose to be an independent writer. So, all of you readers out there who want to be professional self-employed writers, bear that in mind. If you want the independence, you just keep plugging along. If you can't stand the financial insecurity, then you need to shore up on the writing, editing, researching, and computing skills to get a decent paying communications, technical writing, or editing staff job. And, for gosh sakes, please don't underbid your professional worth, which is essentially all professional writers' worth. But, I've wandered. Being financially insecure at the moment isn't my tale. Nor is being a professional writer, which I finally get is what I am. Talk about sometimes not getting it. Do you know the yellow gas station Shell Oil? I don't know how many times I've seen the Shell stations by the time I reached a certain day
"Everything will be all right in the end. If it's not all right then it's not the end." That is one of my favorite lines in the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel . After doing a Google search to find out the correct wording, I learned that the phrase has been around for quite a while. Who said it initially? Someone named "Unknown" comes up a lot. Who ever you are, thank you! A lot of not-so-cool stuff has happened this past week. And, that phrase has been my mantra. It is keeping me insanely sane. So is having immediate access to the Internet. There is the work. As some of you know I make my living as a writer. The project I'm currently working on requires me to write on many different topics, of which I'm no expert. Too many topics to research, understand, and write about that I've taken to whimpering just before giving in to sleep that I'll never ever see the glimmer of light on the other side of this tunnel. "Ever