Showing posts with label Livability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Livability. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dear Lauren




Click to try and make bigger...


I had a lot of the same questions, too.

God damn, I have so many questions.


What if you’re having a shitty day and you just want to be alone? You can’t be alone, right? Because your partner or children are sitting two to ten feet away from you at all times. Don’t you feel like a rat trapped in a cage? Don’t you ever want to turn toward your lover or spawn and shout, “Get out! Get out of my tiny house!”


What about sexy time, huh? There is no f’ing way your kids aren’t hearing that shit. If you’re boinking four feet from your offspring, they might grow up to hate tiny things and end up building a McMansion with ten empty bedrooms just to spite you. Each bedroom will represent their years of lost innocence.

Lauren's questions run the gamut from "what the fuck" to "how the hell" and I have had many of those same questions as well because I watch HGTV. I'm convinced that HGTV is the most under-sampled and under-rated network because everyone watches it. It is a network about living in America in the modern day. The most pressing thing a modern American has to deal with is not ISIS, it's not charger cords, and it's not even where does all my time go. It's "where do I put my shit?" and "why doesn't my bathroom look nicer?"




The answer to Lauren's questions is, "we can't do anything about it because we're stuck."





As in, the people who bought tiny homes put a little thought into it, they reduced their belongings down to a manageable level, and then they embraced their tiny home with the idea that they would figure it out as things went along. We are not seeing them in the "coping" phase. We are seeing them in the "we just put down $50 grand we don't have on a cracker box palace of our own choosing."





Nobody likes to be stuck in a down situation. The people I see on HGTV are usually masking some sort of pain that I can only make guesses about. The couple that doesn't see eye to eye aren't necessarily heading for a divorce. They're heading for much worse than that--a long, slow death sentence that is lined with sorrow and false promises of happiness. 





Whenever you see a man who says "I want to live in a rancher because that's what I grew up in" refuses to accept that his upbringing was wrong. I accept that my upbringing was wrong; hence, I will never live in a rancher, nor will force my family to do so, unless it's a really big and a really remodeled rancher that works for us. It will have to be a rancher worth some resale value with one of those walk-in showers. Otherwise, hells no, baby.





There used to be a real bohemian spirit to America. People lived out of their car. They ate in a different place every day. They stole food to live. They would take a job with the guy who gave bohemian wanderers a little money and when things weren't cool anymore, they dropped that job like a t-shirt that didn't fit anymore. They raided gardens and went to drive in movies without paying. They drank alcohol and pop and this was normal. People put their shit in their car and went places with it. They took these crammed, shifting piles of their own shit to places like Cincinnati and Lincoln and Flagstaff and they found trailers or buses or old ranch style homes with 900 square feet of living space and a crummy basement to live in. 





I lived in one of those homes, a rancher with 3 beds, 864 square feet of living space (not counting a crummy basement) and one damned bathroom. How do I know all of this? Thanks to Zillow, which I learned about because of HGTV, I can look up any home I ever lived in and find this out.





If five people can live in 864 square feet of space, then two people can live in 550 square feet of space. And if they can live in that, they can live in a tiny house. They will do that until something else comes along. In America, we used to live like this all the time--efficiency apartments, Winnebagos, tents, campers, vans, and even those single-wide mobile homes out there that have never gone away.





The only thing that's different now is the stuff we take along with us. We have more of it because it's cheaper to get, and easy to acquire once you get over yourself and start dumpster diving like a professional.



Dear Lauren

Click to try and make bigger...

I had a lot of the same questions, too.
God damn, I have so many questions.
What if you’re having a shitty day and you just want to be alone? You can’t be alone, right? Because your partner or children are sitting two to ten feet away from you at all times. Don’t you feel like a rat trapped in a cage? Don’t you ever want to turn toward your lover or spawn and shout, “Get out! Get out of my tiny house!”
What about sexy time, huh? There is no f’ing way your kids aren’t hearing that shit. If you’re boinking four feet from your offspring, they might grow up to hate tiny things and end up building a McMansion with ten empty bedrooms just to spite you. Each bedroom will represent their years of lost innocence.
Lauren's questions run the gamut from "what the fuck" to "how the hell" and I have had many of those same questions as well because I watch HGTV. I'm convinced that HGTV is the most under-sampled and under-rated network because everyone watches it. It is a network about living in America in the modern day. The most pressing thing a modern American has to deal with is not ISIS, it's not charger cords, and it's not even where does all my time go. It's "where do I put my shit?" and "why doesn't my bathroom look nicer?"

The answer to Lauren's questions is, "we can't do anything about it because we're stuck."

As in, the people who bought tiny homes put a little thought into it, they reduced their belongings down to a manageable level, and then they embraced their tiny home with the idea that they would figure it out as things went along. We are not seeing them in the "coping" phase. We are seeing them in the "we just put down $50 grand we don't have on a cracker box palace of our own choosing."

Nobody likes to be stuck in a down situation. The people I see on HGTV are usually masking some sort of pain that I can only make guesses about. The couple that doesn't see eye to eye aren't necessarily heading for a divorce. They're heading for much worse than that--a long, slow death sentence that is lined with sorrow and false promises of happiness. 

Whenever you see a man who says "I want to live in a rancher because that's what I grew up in" refuses to accept that his upbringing was wrong. I accept that my upbringing was wrong; hence, I will never live in a rancher, nor will force my family to do so, unless it's a really big and a really remodeled rancher that works for us. It will have to be a rancher worth some resale value with one of those walk-in showers. Otherwise, hells no, baby.

There used to be a real bohemian spirit to America. People lived out of their car. They ate in a different place every day. They stole food to live. They would take a job with the guy who gave bohemian wanderers a little money and when things weren't cool anymore, they dropped that job like a t-shirt that didn't fit anymore. They raided gardens and went to drive in movies without paying. They drank alcohol and pop and this was normal. People put their shit in their car and went places with it. They took these crammed, shifting piles of their own shit to places like Cincinnati and Lincoln and Flagstaff and they found trailers or buses or old ranch style homes with 900 square feet of living space and a crummy basement to live in. 

I lived in one of those homes, a rancher with 3 beds, 864 square feet of living space (not counting a crummy basement) and one damned bathroom. How do I know all of this? Thanks to Zillow, which I learned about because of HGTV, I can look up any home I ever lived in and find this out.

If five people can live in 864 square feet of space, then two people can live in 550 square feet of space. And if they can live in that, they can live in a tiny house. They will do that until something else comes along. In America, we used to live like this all the time--efficiency apartments, Winnebagos, tents, campers, vans, and even those single-wide mobile homes out there that have never gone away.

The only thing that's different now is the stuff we take along with us. We have more of it because it's cheaper to get, and easy to acquire once you get over yourself and start dumpster diving like a professional.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Whole Foods is Open on Thanksgiving


There is no reason why a grocery store should be open on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, the only things that should be open are gas stations and emergency rooms. I can remember when it was a given that stores would be closed on certain holidays. No one should expect a grocery store, a mall, or a large retail store to be open on Thanksgiving Day.

If you can't organize your life around the idea that there are going to be days when you can't spend money and shop, then maybe that's a life skill that you need to acquire. There are people who have to work two jobs and shift work and things of that nature. I'm not saying that a grocery store being closed on Thanksgiving is the end of the world or anything, and I know it can be inconvenient. But here's the point--the damned things are already open 24 hours a day. Retail stores are adopting an Amazon.com mentality--always be ready for the dollar that appears, day or night, every minute of every day of every year. But, come on. This is out of hand.

They are building a Whole Foods where I live. The people who will work there can look forward to next year when they will have to work on Thanksgiving and probably all of the holidays. At what point do you stop chasing dollars and start to realize that people need a certain measure of quality of life?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

You Are Not Going to Mars


What the hell is this about?
A one-way trip to Mars sounds like something you'd wish on your worst enemy — so why would more than 78,000 people from around the world pay up to $75 for a chance to die on another planet? 
"I can say I have an ulterior motive," said David Brin, who has written more than a dozen science-fiction novels — including "The Postman," which was turned into a Kevin Costner movie in 1997. "I'd get a lot of writing done, and it might be memorable."
This cannot be happening. Purely from a common sense standpoint, there's no way we should allow for a "one way trip" to Mars to happen. And here's why.

As soon as the trip is over, everyone is going to start bawling. The unfairness of it all will set in. "I had no idea how wonderful this experience was going to be and NOW I WANT TO LIVE." As soon as the thing happens, and it is time to die on Mars, this whole planet is going to be up in arms, emotionally, about sending a rescue mission. "I just want to live! Please save me!" and all that nonsense.

There are not enough hard hearted people around to tell whoever signed up for their trip to Mars to suck it up. We will end up spending $67 billion dollars to save them and then, when all is said and done, we'll see people being recruited for that one way trip to Jupiter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jonathan Murray is Sad


In about ten seconds, Jonathan Murray is about to feel really, really bad:


Thank you, Rep. Shannon Savick, for your recent vote in favor of higher revenues. I know there can be strong opposition to increasing taxes, but when I look at who benefits and how many needs are still unmet, it’s easier to see why voting for more revenues is wise.
Minnesota’s Medical Assistance program, for example, spends a significant amount of its funds on services that help people with disabilities. These programs support people who have significant needs and will always need that support. I have seen our tax dollars pay for services so people with disabilities in Albert Lea and other towns in Freeborn County can find jobs, be more connected to their friends and families, and be an active participant in their communities.
Unfortunately, there are many needs that could be better met if more revenues were raised. For example, there are 3,600 Minnesotans with disabilities who wait for the services that will help them be more independent. Also, one in 88 children is now diagnosed with autism; many will likely receive services throughout their lives. Rep. Savick’s vote in favor of more revenues will help ensure that we can meet the needs of all Freeborn County residents with disabilities and their families now and in the future.

Jo Lowe
executive director
The Arc of Freeborn County

Albert Lea


Boo hoo, Jonathan. Your "inappropriate spending spree" looks like assistance to your fellow citizens, some of whom are disabled. Why don't you shed a tear for some of them, you pathetic baby.

These ranting, immature anti-government types really hate paying their taxes. Why are we surprised to see that the IRS went after these clowns? If your stated goal in life is to howl like a colicky baby every time someone raises taxes, then I don't think you understand the price of living in a civilized society.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Terrible News for Old Farts


The company that makes and sells scooters is in trouble:
Executing a search warrant, federal agents Wednesday swarmed the New Braunfels headquarters of The Scooter Store, one of the nation's largest suppliers of power wheelchairs and scooters. 
Authorities wouldn't comment on the reason for the raid, but a source familiar with the investigation said officials were looking for details of how The Scooter Store bills for its equipment. 
The Scooter Store recently has drawn scrutiny for receiving millions in Medicare overpayments from 2009 to 2011. 
Earlier this month, the company underwent another round of layoffs. That came after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that reimbursements for power chairs, scooters and other equipment will be sharply lower starting July 1.
This is a government benefit that doesn't get a lot of attention. There are, of course, people who are grateful for the chance to have Medicare subsidize the costs of their scooter and then there are people who use the benefit and then rail against anything that the government does to make life easier for anyone else--usually, this comes down to a situation where the old fart  who is too fat to walk anymore rolls up on a public forum and screams about the food stamps given to the family of five down the street.

It would not be popular, but it would be the right thing to do if we went after all of those scooter-riding oldsters and told them to pay up on the difference billed to Medicare. After all, eliminating fraud, waste and abuse are popular proposals when it comes to closing the funding gaps for government programs. And it would be a really good idea to make certain that this company does not go out of business. Why punish people who are no longer legitimately ambulatory? If that does happen, then this is just bad, bad news for folks.

Here's how it should have worked. The company should be allowed to make a profit, albeit, not a ridiculous one. They should have charged a fair price for their product, and they should not have taken advantage of the government subsidy. And, if you're an old fart riding one of these around Albert Lea, and if Medicare helped you pay for it, try to be consistent when you tell everyone you hate the government and Obamacare and at least admit your blatant hypocrisy.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Is Enough Going to be Enough?


This is Mr. Danny Bettcher and he's in the news for something that will make your head spin:
Just 40 days out of prison, repeat DWI [Driving while intoxicated is the term in Minnesota] offender, Danny Bettcher, is back behind bars. The New York Mills, Minn., man is being held at the Wadena County Jail for allegedly violating the terms of his release. 
According to Sarah Berg of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Bettcher was apprehended on Dec. 8 after he was allegedly seen in an establishment that serves alcohol, and was consuming alcohol, both violations of his parole. 
Bettcher was released from prison on Oct. 29 after more than three years behind bars from previous alcohol-related offenses. The conditions of his release required him to stay sober. 
Bettcher reportedly holds the state record for the person with the most DWIs, with 27.
Unless he actually kills someone, Bettcher can't be jailed forever, and that's at the heart of the problem that his community has with him. The law is pretty clear, and it's pretty harsh on people who drive drunk. They've thrown the book at Bettcher and he cannot stop drinking and driving.

So, what do you do? If you're the town of New York Mills, or any town in America, and there's a man in your town who cannot stop drinking in public and then driving in a car, what do you do to ensure that he doesn't kill someone? What can you do?

My recollection is that there are people in the Albert Lea area who have racked up numerous DWIs through the years.

All we have is the law, and the law isn't working. If you have 27 DWIs, and a history of using aliases to cover up how many times you've been caught, you have no business being on the road. There has to be a modification to the law that will remove Bettcher from presence of the people in society that he is trying desperately to injure. Chalk this one up to a failure of the state to come up with a law that works the way it was intended, which is to protect public safety.



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Small Town Crank Beats His Drum


Somehow, the idea that illegal immigration is destroying the American way of life has taken hold in small towns (and, pretty much everywhere else) and it has driven people over the brink. This is all they think about. This is what is making them miserable.

But it's all a crock. This is the classic example of that.

First of all, there is no way of knowing how many "illegal" immigrants there are. Many of them may be illegal but they conform to the laws, earn money, pay taxes, and exist on the fringes of the economy.

Second, they hold jobs Americans won't do. Americans won't pick vegetables, clean offices, or do the things that these people do. And they certainly can't do these things as well as they do and that's important to note. So-called illegal immigrants outwork most Americans. It's a simple as that.

Third, this is a wedge issue used by one political party to get votes. No one who actually has money, runs a business, or doesn't have to worry about their next paycheck cares about this issue beyond the point where they might be inconvenienced and have to actually pay the people who do menial tasks for them more than they currently pay them. Those people tell politicians what to do, and that's why nothing actually gets done about illegal immigration except by accident.

The government can solve this problem in a matter of days. All it has to do is pass a law that says that anyone who employs a person who is not an American citizen can lose their business or property if convicted of employing a person who does not have a valid Social Security Number. All of their property.

So why don't they? Well, it's simple. Americans won't do what these people do no matter what. And they never will.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Bureaucratic Mind in Action


Let me say up front that, yes, riding on the roof of a train is dangerous. There are few good answers available to the authorities when it comes to putting a stop to this practice.

Having concrete balls hit human beings on the head is not one of those answers. This is draconian and frightening.

Somewhere, an Indonesian bureaucrat is tickled pink that someone finally listened to one of his or her draconian suggestions. This is what makes a place very difficult to live in, and you have to ask yourself this about your town: are the people running it as stupid as this?

If so, you have to move.