Moving (move-mitzva): Pay it forward

Start a moving tradition. I want to somehow get the whole world on board with a new common practice.

When someone moves, instead of asking all your friends to help by involving their muscle and pickups I want to turn moving day into the same theme as wedding gifts. Put out the call, invitations, etc when you are soon to move and then everyone puts in $20 to hire movers.

Our last move, we hired movers and it was the best $600 ever spent. They took care of all the big stuff while we focused on the small boxes that could be carried by one person and in smaller cars.

Movers can get the job done in much shorter amount of time and with much more efficiency. As we get older, we don’t need to be lugging couches around tight corners risking injuries to ourselves.

So let’s make this an acceptable practice and a tradition. The “invited” parties can show up on moving day and drink beer, eat pizza and sub sandwiches, help pack or unpack boxes, and have a good time while the pros handle the serious moving.

Who’s with me?

I am not a fan of Barack. I am not buying into the “change” crap. As we learn about the details of the “change” we are going to find where the dream and the reality meet.
One of the greatest aspects of the American Way is that we can choose to do anything or nothing.
Obama has proposed an auto-enrollment of a retirement savings program that the federal government will match funds. This sounds great on the surface but if you think about it, we can’t force those who choose to not make smart decisions for the now and the future.

People have free will. The target income for this plan is lower income people/families. The reality (I speculate) is that this income range of wage earners have more pressing financial needs to meet. Not to mention, they don’t pay as much tax as the middle class or the “wealthy”. The reality will be that the low income earner will have even less take home pay.

The plan estimates $18.8 Billion a year from the federal budget. Wow. We tax payer will have to pay into social security AND the fed-401k?

Why not focus on providing some incentive to the business owner for employee participation with tax breaks. Those tax breaks will help them match their own 401k and give the business and employees a stake in the company.

This smells like textbook Democrat “spread the wealth” through taxation. Throughout history this has never worked.

I encourage the able-bodied employee to make the smart decision for their future and don’t rely on the federal gub’ment to bail them out.

If your company offers a retirement plan, participate even if you have to start small. Over time as you grow financially, you can contribute more. This might mean that your family has to make sacrifices in the car you drive or the frequency of movies you see, but it is the smart thing to do.

Read the Story

6/8/08 (checking in)

It has been 3 months since I have finished the strict 12 week program of the TNT Diet. I am happy to report that I am holding steady. I still employ the exercise routine but maybe not as often. I still follow the eating rules but also maybe not as strict.

My weight is steady. My clothes fit. Actually I could downsize some of my old clothes because the waist is too big.

I consider it a success and I also still refer to the book for the exercises. I mix it up and do different things.

IHOP

I saw a commercial for IHOP this morning and found myself being drawn in by the siren like call of the pancake. They look so good with all the “fruit” and whipped cream. Names like Rooty Tooty you can’t resist.

Then the cloud lifted and I came to earth and thought… what have the IHOP people become? They have gone too far with the pancake and waffle. They have overstepped the conventional boundary of butter and syrup topping by violating basic rules of breakfast nutrition and introduced dessert toppings. A simple breakfast food has turned into a decadent after dinner treat.

In my “research”, I was happy to know that IHOP actually has standard fare on their menu (see their website IHOP.com). You can find eggs, sausage, etc. Whew! I feel better. The TV ads simply glam up the pancake for enticement. Ok. Fine.

Enjoy!

I don’t know what point I am trying to make, but I saw something pretty funny in my inbox that made me laugh. Actually it was in my caught junkmail inbox. (side note: Kudos to Roadrunner service for filtering out junkmail).

The picture in the blog is an example of how the subject line of junkmail tries to grab your attention. If you have opened one out of curiousity you have have opened them all really.

I saw a junkmail subject of “Women enjoy bigger Schlongs”. Funny huh? Who reads that, opens the email, and proceeds to purchase whatever the email is hawking? I find the subject funny yet insulting. You actually think that line will grab the attention of a moderately educated person?

(BTW, as I type this blog, I can’t stop looking that Hooters girls. Sorry, I’m human).

My point? Junkmail sucks but can sometimes humor us. Good thing that modern email services filter it for us. I have noticed a huge decrease since moving from swbell to roadrunner.

Service Review: The Auto Clinic

My wife and I own a 1996 Honda Accord and recently had been showing signs of transmission slippage. As soon as my wife finished her school year, we make arrangements to leave the car at the shop (The Auto Clinic). I knew the news wasn’t going to be good. My wife and I have been doing the Dave Ramsey thing and paying down debt and socking away money etc. The prospect of a car repair weighed heavy. I wasn’t ready to part with my stimulus check and all its Bushy goodness.

The news on the car was that the transmission needed replaced and would cost $2900. This is almost the blue book value of the car. We don’t want a car payment so we had to consider scrapping the car and looking at a used one.

I must also mention that the air conditioner in the car was blowing hot air and the Auto Clinic advised that the air conditioner was good, but there was something in the duct work causing blockage and allowing the warm engine air to get through. To break into the ducts was going to run around $340 to repair. Sheesh. But the tranny was the higher priority at this point.

We are indecisive and not sure what we want to do. We had time and the ability to get along with one car for awhile. I don’t want to drop $2900 yet. So we consulted with my bro-in-law who recommended “Perfection Connection“. This is a shop off of 291 south on the west side of the highway. They came with a good review from the Car Talk guys (website). We hoped they could do the repair for a bit cheaper. We called and told them the news and they offered some pricing that was lower. So… we dropped the car off with them.
Perfection Connection looked at the car and determined the transmission fluid was low, topped it off, drove it and the car was operating normal. As they indicated, the car had only 160K miles and for a Honda the transmission should be solid with this level of mileage. However they did find a leak in the seal which would be a small repair cost. Along with a flush, the news of repair costs got much more appealing. They even checked the air cond to find it only needed a recharge and possibly it had a leak that by infusing the dye they could check back on it if the air turned warm again.
All in all, the $2900 turned into $540. This is grand news and my spirits were lifted. Now, the element of distrust with the Auto Clinic.
I won’t ever take another vehicle to the Auto Clinic. Either the mechanics didn’t diagnose the problems correctly (obviously) or there is an executive decision to overcharge (take advantage) the clients. Either way, I don’t trust their methods and won’t use their services again.
The moral of the story is to get a second opinion.