If David Is Not His Job, What Is His Job?

I just wrote that I am not my job. The question arises then, what do I do for a paycheck?

I sell junk on eBay.

It’s a little more complicated than it sounds, but that’s the cliff’s notes version. I work at a company of about 20 people, with a 90,000 square-foot $4M building mostly full of pallet racks holding “stuff” 3 to 5 levels high. The buyers go to auctions, facility closings, garage sales, wherever they can ‘buy low.’ The stuff is sorted and a lot of it gets sent straight to a recycling division. Those things worth the effort/time/hassle are taken apart and the cool bits are sent along to the distribution area. Testing, cleaning and photography, as well as making ads, is my part of it. I put a barcode label on an item and stick it on a shelf and the inventory fairy makes it disappear until it sells, for anywhere from negative to multiples of 100% profit. All told, the gross is somewhere in the $1-2M range annually, and the fees we pay eBay each month, and the electric bill every quarter, are more than I pay for my mortgage note each month.

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BDI Baltic Dry Shipping Index: Recovery or False Hope?

I mentioned previously that the BDI had fallen off a cliff but the crash seemed to be slowing in November 2008. Here it’s February 2009 and the our clueless fearless leaders are starting to get the idea that the economy in the US is still on the decline. Well, duh.

But have a look at this here: (click the image to enlarge)

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It is entirely possible that this is a sign of foolish optimism on the part of people who make things that require dry shipping. The whole shebang could fall down again. I would prefer to see this new, slightly higher-than-historic level of the BDI continue. If it does, that means we have possibly (worldwide) gone from the leg to the bottom of the current L-shaped recession/depression.

If there is a rebound to levels like what we saw in 2008, that is actually bad for your wallet. We need this depression, as I have previously said, to return the worldwide economy to sane price/income levels. I anticipate that, whatever level the BDI settles on for a few months, it will not rise much beyond that for the next year because of the huge bubble-burst we are going through.

Anyhow, it looks like the end of the world is not yet, and TEOTWAWKI fears are not (yet) going to come true.

Good.

P.S. if you don’t know what the Baltic Dry Index is, or why it is important, have a gander at wikinvest.com for more information.

I Am Not My Job. My Job Is Not Me.

. . . my work area, however, will tell you a little about me.

I was unwinding in front of the idiot box when an actual thought made it through (must have been at commercials). I am not my job. I am me.

Profound, right? Yeah I know, Harper Collins is going to call in 5 minutes with a book advance. . . .

Some people’s identity is bound up in what they do to get a paycheck. For some occupations (uniformed/armed services, mostly) this is good and necessary. I used to be an AT2, for example. But if you are more dedicated to your job than your family and it’s only about money, you’re off somewhere. If your company succeeds, but your children end up junkies and your wife leaves, guess what? You FAIL.

I mean that, to me, what’s important is what happens under my own roof, and, to a lesser extent, within my national boundaries. Everything else could almost go to pot, and if my home and country were in good shape, I would be okay with it. Well, at least my home is in good shape. Read the older posts here to see what bothers me about our country.

My job is a good one. They don’t have the a/c as low or the heat as high as I would like, but it’s dry inside. The labor is not too intensive, the people not to bitchy (except for Mondays or after a bender), the bosses are sometimes downright fun to be around. I do my work and they pay me for it. I do a good job and they give me the plum assignments. I like it, but if it folded tomorrow, as long as there was a financial backup for me, I would be okay with that. My last job, the same. Conditions inside were perfect (cleanroom environment) and the people mostly left me alone. We all got along and it was satisfying, daily, to be able to perform to a high degree of excellence (+/- 0.1% of anything is pretty good, and we did it regularly). When that one folded up and moved to Dallas, I took a couple of days off and (thank God) started at this job.

My family, now that I am attached to. My children are coming up right. They obey but they think for themselves. My Darling Wife, well, let’s just say she and I are both getting closer to what we want each other to be. Aside from the (free, vintage) printer, everything is working acceptably well. We have enough to eat, hot/cold running water, central heating and air conditioning, a dry roof and close-enough-to-dry windows. When I come home I get hugs & kisses. When I go to work I get waved off. My daughter tells me she loves me and means it, and so does my wife. My sons probably will when they get a little older. As the song says, “that’s the good stuff”.

My work area? Well, you would say it’s a mess. I would say it’s a dozen works in-progress. Ask me where a tool is and unless somebody else borrowed it, I’ll be able to point straight to it. Ask me for a chemical and BAM it’s right . . . over there. Say “why is this here?” and you’ll be getting a longer answer than you anticipated (maybe you won’t ask next time eh?). Sure the floor needs sweeping but if it’s down there it is either of no concern or tough enough to be trod on. The ‘stuff’ could be arranged more neatly, but if you don’t want to see a mess, just don’t turn your head that direction. If I had more time, it might be a little tidier, but the things that are important to me are taken care of. My projects are mostly in the same state and location they were when I got distracted from them, last time I was working. The tools and stuff for them is probably nearby. No, thank you, don’t clean it for me or I’ll never find anything.

Change: Obama Reduces Medicare Funding

The omnibus spending bill includes setting aside admittedly not enough money to pay for the healthcare reforms Obama wants. This $634 billion will end up being at least $1.2 trillion by the time it’s all said and done, but what’s a lousy trillion bucks here and there when it’s for the children? Since it’s the lightbringer doing it, the daily kooks don’t seem to mind that he’s starting by reducing medicare for the elderly.

He’s reduced your right to privacy in your own medical records
(increasing risk of identity theft in the process)
Now he’s cutting payments to health care providers for the aged.

This will result in fewer participating doctors in the plan and lower quality health care for old people.

Hold on there.

Why?

Medicare is already a hassle. They don’t pay for incidental stuff, just the care itself. And they don’t want to pay as much as private insurance. The very best doctors can tell their patients what they will pay. The worst (and to be fair, the very charitable and also the average) doctors have terms of payment dictated to them by the insurance agents of the patients. Now you want to pay even less fore Medicare Advantage-insured patients’ care? Look for doctors who were ready to dump medicare altogether, to start jumping ship because of this.

Elderly citizens, which party was it, again, that was supposed to want to reduce your health care?

Hillary’s ideal health care plan would make it a go-to-prison crime to refuse to take lower-than-doctors-deserve government health care dollars, because she knows that doctors would not participate unless she forced them to. Castro’s plan is similar . . . and the Cuban health care system is so good that Fidel got a doctor from another country when he needed care following a stroke.

Is that what you want in your America? Well, you wanted Change, didn’t you??

Change: Obama Sends 17,000 MORE Troops to Afghanistan

I didn’t mention this because I was sure the mainstream media would eventually pick it up and it would be a non-story. If Bush had sent an additional 17,000 troops there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but you have to listen to a conservative news outlet to even hear this story mentioned at all!

Eventually, the need for our boots on Iraqi ground will be reduced, and we will largely withdraw. Don’t be surprised if it happens in the next year or two. Don’t be surprised if our increased presence in Afghanistan drives some of the faithful away from where they might actually reap their 72 virgins and back to Iraq. THEN don’t be surprised to see the surge of American troops going back to Iraq labeled heroic liberators. They would be heroic liberators in Iraq now, and we would be cheering them off as well as cheering them home (as it should be), if the press weren’t so rigidly anti-whatever-Bush-did.

Vote with your feet. ABC NBC CBS and any station with those letters in their name, don’t watch, and maybe even tell them you won’t, due to unbalanced, left-leaning reportage. They won’t turn right, probably, but you never know.

They Called Me A Capitalist!

You are aSocial Moderate (56% permissive)
and an
Economic Conservative (78% permissive)
You are best described as a:Capitalist

(You bet yer BOOTS I’m a Capitalist!)

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Join me, O my million of VFD’ers, in taking The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

P.S., the only problem with Rush Limbaugh’s description of Moderates as people who wait for public opinion to form a consensus and then agree with it, is that it excludes people like me: I have extensively considered my opinions and positions and ended up between the extreme right and left in most areas. My sort of person is also known as “a normal guy.”

DOJ Wants To Hold Prisoners Beyond The End Of Their Sentences!

Uncle points us to two-four.net who points us to Wendy McElroy who mentions a Yahoo! News story that mentions. . .

“The Department of Justice on Monday asked a full appeals court to rule that the federal government has the power to hold sex offenders in custody indefinitely beyond the end of their prison terms.” It is called “civil commitment.”

That is to say, when you do something the government does not like, they can lock you up and throw away the key. You say you expected to be set free when your sentence was expired? Ho-ho! You think you can get a thing like justice and fairness and freedom after you have been to prison for fill in the blank?! Not in OUR collective country mister!

Today, we don’t like child rapists. Nobody likes a child rapist. You don’t like child rapists, do you? Why not lock them up for life, even after their sentences expire? You don’t want them back on the streets, do you?

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Well, no, but how about, instead of making a mockery of justice, we give them life (or, preferably, death) sentences instead of letting them out again after a few years.

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First they wouldn’t release the child rapists, and I said nothing because I also hated child rapists. . . .

DC To Have a Vote in Congress

The Constitution for the United States of America says members of the house shall be chosen “by the people of the several states”

The District of Columbia is not a State. It is a district. If the people in DC are entitled to a vote in Congress then the people of the Philippines were, too, when they were a protectorate.

This is stupid people. Just because the Congress has authority over D.C. “in all cases whatsoever” does not make it a State. For a moment there, I was thinking that, because Congress controls DC in all cases, and they want DC to have a vote, they were just looking to grab a little more power, by having a Representative controlled by Congress.

nah, they wouldn’t do that. After all, they’re the representatives of the peeeeople.