Need vs. Want

11 04 2013

My 1965 Webster’s dictionary, to which I refer when I want a more traditional definition of a word rather than the watered-down definitions one finds in more modern dictionaries, defines need as “a lack of something requisite, desirable, or useful.”

Yesterday we received a quote from a contractor. We need a water line run for the LG Combination Washer/Dryer that we’re purchasing. We currently haul our laundry down to the local laundromat, something I haven’t done in twenty years and which I wouldn’t have conceived of doing just a few years ago. I wouldn’t even rent an apartment when I moved to Las Vegas if it didn’t come equipped with this necessity. I was too old for lugging laundry. I was beyond this college-day’s activity. Yet here we are, in our late 40’s, having purchased a house with no laundry room, space, or closet. We need it.

We also have an electric range with one oven. Having been raised on gas ovens, the act of cooking well on electric still eludes me, even after being stuck with electric for years at my various abodes. At least the rest were self-cleaning; this archaic model has the four requisite burners and two racks in the single-oven and no broiler pan. We need a five-burner, double-oven range with the ability to “cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures”, one of them being a convection to “circulate air in the lower oven for consistent temperatures and uniform browning”. This, of course, means running gas to the location of the out-of-date, wholly inadequate range that currently sits in the kitchen.

Our third need is a tankless water heater to replace the minuscule, 30-gallon, wholly inadequate water heater taking up space underneath a cabinet in the kitchen. This appliance is so insufficient that I can’t wash my hair and shave my legs during the same shower; Snarky can’t take a bath in more than 3 or 4 inches of water which does absolutely nothing for someone trying to soak after a hard day’s work.

Last but not least, our fourth need is electricity: additional outlets in the sun room and run to the shop for Snarky to run his power tools and to give us room to plug in the freezer that will store all that meat we’re going to have.

Please note that these are household needs and pale in comparison to the needs of the farm (fencing, plowing, animals, etc.) that need to be obtained.

With all these needs in tow we called a local plumber/electrician/gas guy. “Barry is his name but he’s called ‘Blue'”, our friendly real estate agent told us over breakfast the other morning. Van had taken Snarky out turkey hunting at daylight and then subjected himself to my electric stove-top cooking. “As in blueberry”. Ahhh, local humor.

Blue told us he’d be by either before noon or after; he showed up at 2:30, clipboard in hand and Pall Mall’s in his shirt pocket. After explaining all our needs and showing him the appliances with which we were filling our “requisites”, he provided us an estimate.

In my experience, estimates are provided with a breakdown, an itemization of labor and parts so that one knows for what one is paying. Not so in the case of the blueberry. We received a paragraph describing the fulfillment of our needs. Our needs had a requisite $2,760 price tag.

While we may be able to “afford” this, some re-evaluation was…needed. We certainly don’t want to be known as those newcomers with more money than sense. Hell, we’re already talked about down at the post office as, “the new people on the hill who get the most packages.” Yes, that’s what our postal driver told me the other day. My response was, “And I don’t pay taxes or shipping or make a trip to town, so there will be more.”

After getting over the sticker shock and some discussion, two of our needs became wants. There will be no electricity in the shop; an extension cord run from the house will suffice and we’ll find freezer space. There will be no five-burner, double-oven gas range with the ability to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures; over-cooked, sometimes burned meals will have to suffice.

And with that, another lesson in truly going Galt has been learned, and $1,000 has been saved after the revised estimate.

But I still really want a double-oven gas range…

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Know The Law: Americans Can Have The Same Firearms As The National Guard!

18 03 2013

Extremely important…KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, people!

Second Amendment Patriots

Know The Law  Bill of Rights Guns

In order to win the war on guns, the Progressive Left and Democrats are counting on our ignorance of not only the Constitution, but recent case law that supports the Second Amendment. The government school systems, over the last 30 years, have educated the children of America down to the mindless souls we see today. They have systematically prevented generations of people from truly understanding the meaning and intent of the Constitution. In doing so, they have bred into our society a semi-permanent sense of co-dependence on the government for entitlement services and information. While this is by design; they did not anticipate, nor do they control, the vast independent information sources available to people today.

“Know The Law” is a new category of Second Amendment Patriots articles that are designed to help community members in the defense, application, and everyday usage of the 2nd amendment. While this…

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The Looters Are In Control

20 11 2012

Taking this directly off ZeroHedge’s website this morning because it’s just so damn important.

[And now it’s time for Mr. Obama to start paying for all those votes by reaching deep into our pockets. If you intend to avoid paying your “fair share,” however, please take note: There will be  few places to hide. For a gimlet-eyed view of what may lie in store for taxpayers and citizens of all political persuasions during the next four years, ponder the guest commentary below, from Wayne Siggard, a regular in the Rick’s Picks forum. RA]

The election was all about new math:  47 = 51. The foresight and genius of the Founders knew no bounds.  Ben Franklin said, “Once the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.”  The trumpets have sounded.  The heralds have announced the awakening of the masses to that reality.  The greatest and most free nation the world has ever known has just sold its birthright for a mess of pottage; or, at least, the promise of an Obama phone. The takers have voted to take control over the producers.

Everyone will now get a fair shot — except that those who work in government and those who take government welfare will get a fairer shot.  Obama knows that you didn’t build that company.  You didn’t live frugally and save more money than your neighbor while they spent theirs on drugs or riotous living.  He knows this because he didn’t get anything without government assistance — affirmative action put him ahead of more qualified people who earned a spot that he took, just like Elizabeth Warren. You couldn’t possibly have gotten anything on your own merit or hard work.

A claim for material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers.” – Friedrich von Hayek

Von Mises said that full government control of all activities of the individual is virtually the goal of both national parties.  Have you ever tried to drill an oil or gas well?  Have you ever tried to build a house or commercial building?  Have you ever tried to manufacture and sell a product?  The International Building Code (IBC) increases in size, restrictions and requirements every year. Why? Because a bureaucracy needs to expand to justify its existence.

 “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton

Have you ever experienced the disdain and contempt of a bureaucrat whose permission you sought?  It used to be that their power to grant a license or permit was retribution for their pay being less than that of the private sector.  Now, you get to pay them 50% more than you would get for the same job, and the disdain has not decreased.  Firemen, police officers, and military personnel can retire as young as 38, many making over $100,000 per year if they work until 50, and many can take another job and collect another pension on top of the first.  Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, the average middle class family’s income has decreased $4,019 during the Obama years, to $50,964.  More than half of the lifeguards in Newport Beach, CA, make over $150,000 per year and can collect more than $100,000 in pension benefits starting under 50 years of age.

So, What’s Coming?

That paradigm of preternatural  prestidigitation, the Federal Reserve Bank, will continue its policy of zero percent interest.  The big banks will mask their insolvency with free money from the Feds.  Greedy speculators and fools who overspent on housing will have their mistakes paid for by those taxpayers who had the foresight to save and invest wisely.  Obama bundlers and other insiders will continue to get billion dollar investments from the government, sucking valuable capital from the private sector. The official inflation rates will miraculously stay low while you are paying 100% more for gasoline and food.

 “History is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments.” –Friedrich von Hayek

Foreign nations are no longer purchasing U.S. government bonds. The largest purchaser is the Federal Reserve Bank.  In other words, the government is printing money from thin air. In 1970, you could go to Las Vegas and buy a silver dollar for one paper dollar. It now costs around $35. A mansion behind the Beverly Hills Hotel sold for $200,000. It resold in 2004 for $16 million. A house in Flintridge, CA, sold for $115,000.  Its current value is $4.5 million. The base price for a Corvette was $5192.  It is now $49,600, a comparative bargain.  What you could buy for $1 million in 1970 now takes $36 million.  Senator Everett Dirksen in the 1960s is reputed to have remarked,” a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money.”  You can now add three zeros.  The bottom line is that if you are collecting 0.15% interest on your CD, you are losing real purchasing value of at least 10%, and that rate will be accelerating in the next four years.  Carlo Ponzi was a hopeless naïf compared to our elected officials.

Harry Reid Has a Plan

Harry Reid already has a bill on his desk which requires that all pension plans (except for the unions, of course), 401Ks, and IRAs be converted to annuities from the government.  This pile of cash represents the largest pile of readily available cash in the world right now.  The money will be gone as soon as it hits the government’s account, and you will be left with empty promises.  There is no money, only a printing press.

Capital export controls will be enacted.  You will not be able to get your money out of the country.  Already you can no longer open a bank account in Switzerland unless you have over $30 million because the reporting requirements are too onerous for a smaller account.  All requests to Switzerland for visas from Americans will be suspended. History will be repeated (shocking, I know), and all gold in private hands will be confiscated.  The Republicans will cave, the tax rates will rise, and anyone making more than the insider politicians and government employees will encounter ever-increasing marginal tax rates.

Payoffs for votes will be made.  Affirmative action requirements will be increased in every field of endeavor.  Women’s abortions and contraceptives will be free. Regulations will stop the advent of fracking and the boom in oil and natural gas will come to an abrupt halt.  Payments to environmental groups for lawyer’s fees will expand exponentially.  Government-controlled lands with oil and gas potential will be declared wilderness or national monuments, just like Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah.  I could go on for another ten pages, but , in a nutshell, the message from Mr. Obama is, “You lost.”

And finally, Israel has recognized that Mr. Obama will offer no succor.  Before the end of January, they will raid Iran.  Gasoline will reach $7 per gallon, and voila, solar and wind energy will be competitive.  No matter that your thermostat is set at 40 degrees, if you can get fuel or power.

The looters are in control.  Set your alarms.





A Funny Thing Happened at the Hostess Store

18 11 2012

Hostess, once proud producers of Twinkies and Suzy Q’s, is shut down. Some have said it was their choice. If you call having a gun pointed at your head and being told how you’re going to run your business, how much you’re going to pay people, and not being able to produce if those people strike even when you offer them work a choice, then…okay.

Actually, by allowing the union into their business in the first place, they should have seen this coming. But I digress.

When the announcement was made on Friday I told Snarky that we should go down to the local Hostess store and stock up on Twinkies. They’ll be worth gold in the coming days when TSHTF.

image courtesy of @ChrisLoesch

So, as part of our Saturday morning running around, we first went to the Hostess store. The parking lot was full and I commented, “Oh, I guess other people have the same idea.” A nice woman who had just finished shopping offered us her cart; she said they were hard to come by this morning. Thankfully, we took it.

It wasn’t too terribly packed inside and the first thing we spotted were Twinkies! The price was right (7 for $5) so we put 14 in the cart and moved along to Cup Cakes and other baked crap we would never buy. As we made our way around the store, two little old ladies were filling two carts to overflowing; they couldn’t grab enough jams and condiments and at least two of everything they were selling. It was THEN we found out that yes, the store was going out of business; this was it’s closing day and everything was 50% off.

Needless to say, our cart started filling up, too. We even gave #BabyQ free rein to put things in the cart.

But here’s the funny part…

There were obviously “progressives” in the store, so I, having a big mouth, kept talking to Snarky about how we could thank the unions for this, and look at all the people who will be out of work, and all the businesses that will be shutting down. Yes, I was trying to rub it in.

Then, as we were in line with our cart too full to hold anymore, a woman two people behind us asked if she could cut in front of us. She only had a few things and was late for an appointment. She looked like a Democrat, so I asked her, “How did you vote?” Yes, right there in front of everyone, I shot off my mouth.

“That’s very personal.”

“Well, did you vote pro-union?” I asked.

“No, I’m against unions!” she answered.

We allowed her to get ahead of us. However, I suffer from esprit d’escalier, the name the French give to that damnable moment when, as you’re walking away from a moment, you think of all the things you SHOULD have said.

I should have come right out and asked, “Did you vote for Obama?”

I should have come right out and asked the employee behind the counter if she was union before I told her, “I’m sorry you’re losing your job.” (She probably wasn’t union in that small store, but I didn’t check.)

And maybe, just maybe, we should have bought more Twinkies. We’ll be exchanging them for silver or gold, if you’re interested.





Going Galt

11 11 2012

What is Going Galt?

“There is a difference between our strike and all those you’ve practiced for centuries: our strike consists, not of making demands, but of granting them. We are evil, according to your morality. We have chosen not to harm you any longer. We are useless, according to your economics. We have chosen not to exploit you any longer. We are dangerous and to be shackled, according to your politics. We have chosen not to endanger you, nor to wear the shackles any longer. We are only an illusion, according to your philosophy. We have chosen not to blind you any longer and have left you free to face reality-the reality you wanted, the world as you see it now, a world without mind.

“We have granted you everything you demanded of us, we who had always been the givers, but have only now understood it. We have no demands to present to you, no terms to bargain about, no compromise to reach. You have nothing to offer us. We do not need you.

Going Galt is the term coined from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, where one goes on strike, removing one’s self and one’s production from the perpetuation of a collectivist society. Given the outcome of the 2012 election and that Americans have voted themselves into a fully entitlement society, a nanny state where government takes care of their every need, it is time to deny the destroyers and the looters your assets, including your mind.

It means starving the beast.

How Do I Starve The Beast?

Unlike in Atlas Shrugged, we have no magic valley to which we can escape. There are certainly remote areas in America and if you’re lucky enough to own a piece of land in one of these havens, or have the means to purchase one, lucky you!

More importantly, Galt’s Gulch was not a permanent home to most of the characters; it was a haven to which they escaped for a month, once a year. During the other eleven months each member had to exist in the outside world any way they could save one: they could not work in their chosen profession. They could not give to the world the benefit of their expertise. Scientists worked as railroad workers and professors ran hamburger stands. They lived frugally, owning little; there is no need to keep up with the Jones’ when you’re on strike.

So how to you starve the beast in reality world? The folks over at Reaganite Republican have some good ideas:

1. Buy used or new via secondary markets. Use Craigslist to find new stuff at less than retail… and you pay no taxes into the system.

2. Contribute to the secondary market by having a yard sale, you’ve probably got tons of junk you haven’t even seen in years.

3. Forget status symbols and keeping-up-with-the-Jones’. Maybe you can afford that nice new car, but you’ll pay A TON of taxes on it. Find a lesser vehicle that makes you happy that feeds the beast less, perhaps one bartered from within the family.

4. Invest and hold. Avoid taxable capital gains until Jan 2017.

5. FIX YOUR STUFF instead of replacing it. So many people look at durable possessions as disposable. Take those pants to the tailor, or better yet, get a used sewing machine and fix them yourself. Find someone with a welding machine to fix that patio chair.

6. Maintain your possessions properly. Clean the dust out of your computer. Keep on top of the car, house, and tools.

7. Plant a garden and grow as much of your own food as possible… and don’t forget spices in your window box, fresh is best anyway..

8. Enjoy life more simply. Choose a day at the park over an afternoon at the movies.  Attend a church cookout instead of going to Outback.

9. Speaking of things like the movies – stop going (Ed- I did yearsago). Wait for the DVD and rent it for $1 at Redbox. If there is a cheaper option to do something, take that option.

Or – here’s a radical idea – buy used books dirt (at yard sales, etc.) cheap and READ.

10. Set up two days a week to run errands. Run them all at once and efficiently instead of wasting money (and taxes) on fuel. If your workplace offers a work-from-home option, TAKE IT. (The ‘green’ Left will love this one, but we’re talking about opportunities to avoid paying taxes into the system, while saving yourself some coin in the process) .

11. Create gifts instead of buying them.

12. Barter for goods and services under-the-table

13. Avoid all union shops, products, and services

14. If possible, move to a low-tax Red state

15. Lower the amount the feds withhold from your paycheck- just take the maximum allowable deductions. Yes, it may mean you have to ‘pay’ come tax time BUT if just 10% of the people who receive paychecks would do this it would put a severe crimp on the DC cash flow. Just stash the extra cash somewhere and come tax time if you need it to pay Uncle Obama well then you have it.

Preparing Your Family

The Mormons are the best at prepping. Why? Because they believe in taking care of one’s self and one’s family and not relying on the government to take care of them should disaster strike. We all saw how well it worked out for those who relied on FEMA when hurricane’s Katrina and Sandy hit.

Whether you want to prep because you believe civil disobedience and a break down of our system is coming or because you realize you must rely on yourself, this document should be downloaded, printed, and applied in your daily life. It outlines how to purchase supplies over time, how much you’ll need, and what you’ll need. It’s an invaluable reference and should be printed and put in a binder so if the power does go out, you’re not relying on your PC to access it.

LDS Preparedness Manual








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