Is it Just Me?

OK I admit it. I'm a staunch conservative. I didn't used to be. Back in the mid-80's I fled a legalistic and extreme religious environment and spread my wings and swung over to a fairly liberal mind-set. That phase only last a few years. Once my rebellious anti-everything-I'd-ever-been-trained/taught mode waned, I began to pay attention and really examine the political world around me. I attended town-hall meetings held by my state legislator, I talked with candidates that went door-to-door and even started watching websites for current and wanna-be candidates. I started listening to talk radio and forsaking the typical news outlets which seemed very slanted to me. I worked hard to actually be informed. I didn't want to blindly follow anything anymore.

Well the news of late has really got me in a very defensive mode. I am starting to feel like I need to defend my personal property, my finances; my general way of life seems to be in jeopardy. The dollar is falling, rampant inflation is probably less than a year away (keep printing that money!). What now? What if I lose my up-to-now safe, well paying job? What would we do if our money became nearly worthless? How would we pay our bills? Buy food? Keep a roof over our heads? It seems that a lots of things I've taken as a given, may actually be in jeopardy. I'm turning 50 in about a month and retirement usually isn't far from my mind. Will I now have to work until I'm 70? Will I even have a job? Ah, so much to think about.

Should I buy gold? Silver? I most certainly want to pay off as much debt as possible, no question there. Debt is certainly a bad thing in our world's current situation. I don't' want to be beholden to anyone if I don't have to.

But man, do I still want to travel the world, spoil my grand kids, help out my kids as they start up their new families, be generous with my charitable giving. I really want that new computer monitor, new software, iPod Touch (thanks for the tip JD!), camera accouterments, and more. Oh and my tires need replacing, the yard is a disaster and needs new sod, and I need a new wardrobe. My house still has a lot of painting to be done and curtains to put up. I can see that I have a real struggle in front of me to curb my years of easy spending.

I've been very reticent about posting my thoughts on this; worried that some will see me as a conspiracy theorist or just plain batty with my concerns.

Too bad.

I am out in the open now.


Weird News Alert

Student kicked off of a school bus for farting - A Lakeland Florida teen is kicked off a bus for trying to make kids laugh by farting. The bus driver, according to, when filling out his incident form, said ""Jonathan passes gas on the bus to make the other children laugh and it is so stink [sic] that you can't breathe after he does it."

Three men killed while trying to saw through a bomb - surely these men are candidates for the famous Darwin Awards. A policeman reports to the online news source, The Australian, that "The poor men wanted to sell the metal for money. They could not escape the sudden blast."

Vindictive man tries to get back at his neighbor ends up setting his own car on fire - Seattle's own reports that the Florida man couldn't escape a shift in winds that blew the flames from his moltov coctail onto his own property. Authorities believe that alcohol was involved. No kidding.


What? Me Change?

Ah spring is here! With the start of Daylight Savings time, we are reminded by radio hosts and TV special service annoucements, to change our smoke alarm batteries. Well it got me thinking about all the other things we here at the Ochs house usually forget to change. I wonder if anyone else suffers from same.

1. Smoke Alarm Batteries - I suppose I should change them, but they're about 10 feet high and require a tall ladder. What a hassle! They're so obnoxious. If it weren't for that little thing called "safety", I'd be taking those little buggers out. I've boiled a pan dry or something dripped onto the bottom of the oven and my alarms are sent shrieking and our hearts racing. My poor doggy makes a quick bee-line out of the house (via the quickly opened door to waft smoke away) in order to save his keenly sensitive ears. The rest of us suffer while fanning near invisible smoke towards the windows and doors.

2. Soil - potted plants need regular re-potting with new soil to keep the plant happy with sweet soil. Apparently soil can go sour. Well, I don't change the soil and I rarely can keep a plant past a year or so. Go figure.

3. Furnace Filters - We firmly believe in letting the next owners of our house worry about any furnace problems.

4. Mascara - did you know that make-up can get old and breed bacteria and cause eye disease and even blindness? I actually don't forget to change out my mascara but am putting this in here to raise global awareness to the epidemic sure to threaten all females of the human species. CHANGE OUT YOUR MASCARA every three months! Save yourselves!

5. Loofahs (or other body brushes or scrubby-thingies) - ah just scrub off your dirt and old skin cells then set 'em in the shower and let 'em soak up the water week after week. There ain't nothing bad about that, right?

6. Refrigerator Water Filter - most of the newer refrigerators have great water filters that eliminate the need for us to purchase bottled water. Keep that filter changed and you can save yourself tons of money buying what you can get for free.

7. Passwords - please change your passwords regularly; particularly those linked with banking institutions or sites/applications that have personal information. The recommended norm is to change them every 90 days. Also, don't put yourself at risk by making all of them the same. Another tip: don't write them all down and post them by your computer.

8. Sachet - that 5 yr old lavender sachet that is in the lingerie drawer? I think it's time. I suppose you could always peel an orange and stuff the rind in there. They're sure to give off a nice citrus smell.

9. The vacuum cleaner bag - if you do that then it won't take 10 swipes to pick up the thread off the floor. You'll be able to do your vacuuming in 1/10th the time!

10. Glade scented plug-in - things will smell much better if you change out those old crusty cartridges. I hear they have lots of great scents out there.

11. Sunscreens - did you know that last year's sunscreens have lose their potency/strength? Don't kid yourself that your SPF 45 is still providing you with maximum protection. You might burn.

Other ideas on things you can change that help keep you fresh and relevant (and staying away from either being boring or being bored):

- Facebook profile picture
- Try new music preferences - step out of your box!
- Find a new hobby
- Your calendar; throw away the 2008 one with the great picture
- Get a new hairstyle
- The paint color in your favorite room