January 2009

It Wasn't My Fault!!

Retail merchants recorded one of the worst holiday sales performances in history during the last weeks of 2008! Car dealers who typically sold 300 cars in an average month were lucky if they could give away 50 at bargain basement prices. Stores rolled out their after-Christmas prices at the start of the season and still took an unprecedented nose dive in sales figures.

I still did a lot of VO work, advertising all those great deals that were out there, but the public was just too scared of the economy to let go of what little money they had... causing the nation's downward spiral to get even worse. No sales = no demand = no production = no jobs = no supply = no sales (and so on....)

So I did my professional part to try and get people into stores (like Joseph A. Bank, for one.) It wasn't my fault. Except, I kept a death grip on my purse too, and didn't spend nearly what I normally do for the holidays.

Hmmm.... Maybe, in a way, the continuing economic crisis is my fault!

Bank Shots

Why is it that, the bigger you are, the more the rules change in your favor? Detroit auto makers have been ignoring the needs of their consumer base for years, preferring instead to pursue their own inappropriate ideas. But when they find that their business is drying up they expect, and get, money... our money... to keep them going!

It is, of course, because they're too big to fail without damaging the national economy even further.

However, Bank of America just got roughly $25 billion... that's with a "B"... in government support, and are already back with a hand out asking for more, to help in acquiring Merrill-Linch!

Wait a minute. There's a lot of stuff I'd like to "acquire", too. But how far do you think I'd get asking Uncle Sam for the extra cash to do it?

I'm not big enough. BofA is. I can't buy what I can't afford. But, apparently, BofA can.

I wonder if our economy would be in it's current crisis if big government and big business had to handle their finances like the average american family! But I think we all know the answer.

My Brass Monkey Died!

There's a thing about Southerners... Most of 'em came from the North! Here in Charlotte, NC, it's estimated that over 60% of the population moved here from the "Rust Belt" to get warm and live cheaper. You'll find people wearing shorts and T-shirts year 'round because it seldom gets really cold.

Not so right now! We're looking at single digit temperatures overnight, and sub-freezing numbers for days at a time. The plumbers will have a field day repairing ruptured water pipes.

Remind me of this next August when we're cooking eggs on the sidewalk!


Exercise Plan

We can't always make it to the "Y" when we need to, so we took advantage of an on-line sale and bought an elliptical trainer.

It's supposed to go in a spare bedroom, but it's too heavy to get up the stairs!

Anyone care to do some "weight lifting" with us?

Health For You
And Your Budget

Food and I have always been very close friends. But my trim and petite wife, Irene, has managed to teach me some ways to keep the friendship and still improve both my health and my finances.

We all know that the three things that give food it's good flavor are carbohyrates, fat, and salt... The same three things that try to kill you! Take 'em away, and the taste goes along for the ride.

But that's not entirely true. If you're a typical home cook, you probably use lots of "prepared" foods (think Hamburger Helper) and canned or frozen stuff. Time savers.

Try cutting out the shortcuts and just use all fresh, natural ingredients. The results are amazing!

You wind up cooking meals with lower fat, sodium, and carbos (sugar.) They actually taste better and are cheaper to prepare! It takes some getting used to, but it is SO worth the extra time and effort! I'll try to pass along occasional recipes in these newsletters.


"Slap On A Coat of Paint!"
Yeah... Right!

Every so often I experience an attack of insanity that causes me to think I can do something requiring manual dexterity... like painting a room. I have arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, but painting is no big deal, is it? Everybody does it... Once. And a lot of people do it for a living. (A lot of them drink, too, it turns out.)

The room is a small 11 x 10 library with one entire wall filled with a built-in bookcase. The old wall color was a dark chocolate brown. The new color is a sunny pastel yellow. The transition required two gallons of Kilz primer before the yellow stood any chance of actually covering up the old brown coat.

I painted the back wall of the bookcase flat yellow, and the shelves glossy white enamel. Then I repainted the shelf parts that got yellow on them. Then the wall parts that got white on them. Then more shelf touch-up followed by more wall do-overs... By the time I quit, there were so many coats of paint that there's not much room left for books!

And I dropped the paint brush or dribbled so much that we're having new carpet put in next week! Trust me... it's probably cheaper to just hire a "pro" to get a room painted!

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