Sunday, May 29, 2011

What a Difference a Pillow Makes

For a while now I've woken up feeling like total crap.  Stiff, creaky neck, headaches, stuffed up nose, post nasal drip dry cough and generally feeling like a herd of River Dance people stomped on me (a nightmare in itself).

I tried drugs, thinking it was just allergies.  They didn't really work, still woke up feeling crappy.  After trying a myriad of different possible solutions, I decided that I needed a new pillow.  I liked my squishy down pillow, but it was about all squished out and not supportive at all, so I went in search of a pillow that would fit my sleeping patterns, which consist of this:
Every night, Meeshka sits on my head, Sam and Loki fight for the foot of the bed. 

After about 20 minutes, Meeshka gets too hot and jumps down, so Loki stomps all over me and takes her spot and sleeps half on the end table and the other smelly half is shoved in my face.  Sam takes the whole foot of the bed.

After about 20 minutes, Loki spreads his full ample ass and takes over the whole head of the bed through the ingenious use of swift kicks to my face with his pokey little feet, and Sam oozes into taking over the foot and half of the middle of the bed. 

The "No Dog Zone" is Lobersterman's side of the bed.  He made it very clear from the beginning that no dogs are allowed over there, and they respect it, unless he's eating something, and then all bets are off.

So, the perfect pillow would have to be for someone that sleeps on their side, back, face, half off the bed and toward the center of the bed, sometimes sliding off the bed.

I went to Kohls and searched.  I found two really nice dresses for work and then actually made it back to the pillow department, where I tested each pillow for comfiness, but most were ONLY for one position or another... until... I found this:
Now I have to say that I'm not crazy about the whole memory foam thing.  Lobsterman had one and it seemed like it was too squishy and it also was HOT!  Coming from someone who is a potential candidate for spontaneous human combustion at night, the LAST thing I need is a pillow to contribute to the overall over-heating problem I have, but this one is different.

Its actually a memory foam pillow on one side, and a nice squishy down-like pillow on the other side.  It felt really supportive and its made for sleeping in any position... oh and it was half off.  Oh hell yeah, its mine!

I took it home, changed the dog fur laden sheets and put a new pillow case on it, and then couldn't wait to go to bed to try it out.

This morning I woke up... and felt AMAZING!  No crappy sinuses, barely any neck ache, no headache, slept like a log (even with Loki kicking me in the face) and wow!  Holy crap!

Now I'm wondering if I was allergic to the real down pillow.  I really can't believe how much better I feel after using this thing.  I give it two solid thumbs up and can't wait for my afternoon nap.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fond Childhood Memory #937: Running Away

As I'm sure the majority of you have done, when I was a teenager I decided to run away.  I don't distinctly recall the reason, but I'm pretty sure it was something major like my parents wouldn't let me do something that would have ended with me losing some fingers and an eye, which is just like parents to keep their kids from doing fun things.

Regardless of the reason, I pronounced to my father that I hated everyone and was going to run away.


Dad: Ok
Me: I'm serious, I'm running away.
Dad: Fine, where do you want to go?
Me: I'm not telling you because then you'll know and that defeats the whole purpose of running away!
Dad: Well, I was going to offer to drive you to the bus station and buy you a one way ticket.
Me: what?
Dad: You don't have to stay where the bus drops you off, but at least I'll know that you are out of the county.
Me: What?
Dad: well, if you just "run" away from home, you probably won't get very far and end up back here.

I was going to mention to him that I ran Cross Country and would at least make it five miles away before tiring, but...

Me: FINE!  Let me go pack my things.
Dad: Well, I would like to point out that most of your stuff isn't really yours, I mean your mother and I paid for those things, we're just letting you use them.
Me: WHA?
Dad: You can take whatever you paid for, but the rest has to stay here.
Me: but... but...
Dad: ok, fine, you can take the clothes you are wearing, now is there anything else you've paid for?
Me: YOU'RE NO FAIR!

At this point I stomp upstairs

Dad: well, if you aren't running away today then you'll have time to weed the garden before supper.

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's MY Money

Instead of figuring out a budget (Congress passed a budget on 15 April 2011, the Senate refuses to vote on the budget or provide one of their own).

Instead of addressing the certain doom of Medicare and Social Security (See above).

Instead of figuring out a way to allow businesses (both big and small) to create private sector jobs.

Instead of figuring out what to cut in order to provide disaster relief assistance to tornado ravaged states (but spent $500,000 on a shrimp treadmill)

Our Government wants to save us from our own money.  That's right, those wacky government types who want to "invest" in jello wrestling, bridges for turtles, and "green" golf carts want to stop you from spending your savings, namely your 401K savings.



Despite already stifling regulation, the government has discovered that by allowing you to take out loans from your 401K savings... you may not be able to (or want to) pay it back, even with the crushing tax burden penalty for not paying it back.  You see, despite their claims in 2009 that they had to spend money to make money and keep the unemployment rate below double digits (how's that working out for you?), the government doesn't want you to spend your retirement money (like they've spent your Social Security money) because that would be a hardship for you.

So, responsible people who may have some financial hardship can take out a loan of their retirement money, and pay it back in 5 years... but there's a pesky catch: if you lose your job, you have 60 days after you lose your job to pay it back in full or get the bejeezus taxed out of you.

Instead of reforming the 401k regulations to allow you to have an independent 401k that isn't based on your job, that was portable and allowed you to keep putting money into it, no matter where you worked, and repay your loan, whether you had a job or not... sorta like what some people suggested the Healthcare program be allowed to do.. nope, the government wants to limit your ability to borrow your own money.

That wonderful bill is called Savings Enhancement by Alleviating Leakage in 401(k) Savings Act of 2011 (‘SEAL 401(k) Savings Act’).  Wow, I wonder how many martinis and bazillions of tax dollars it took to come up with that catchy acronym.  Sponsored by Senator Kohl (a guy who isn't going to run in 2012 and doesn't have to worry about his retirement because you, the taxpayer, will be paying him for the rest of his natural life), it wants to limit how many loans you can get (most 401k plans already do that), ends the deferral if you take out a hardship loan, which will allow you to continue contributing to your 401k (currently if you take a hardship loan you cannot contribute to your 401k or receive employer matching funds for 6 months... probably because if you took out a hardship loan, you need all the money you can get), and extend the 60-day limit of rolling over your loan offset into an IRA or other qualified plan and give you until the tax filing deadline to roll over the offset (note to self: don't get fired at the beginning of April).

Now, while all of this seems benign and "helpful" to people who have 401k loans, the issue is: the Government has NO business telling you what you can and can't do with your money.  Its YOUR money.  If you want to take out one loan, or 5 loans... its YOUR money.  If you get in over your head, lose your job, or can't pay your bills because you took out too many 401k loans... tough!

But wait, it gets better... because this is just a precursor of the Government just TAKING your money and "investing" it in a more safe environment instead of in that pesky private sector stuff.  I'm sure you are saying "Pshaw!  You scare monger, you supporter of BIG OIL and BIG BUSINESS"... um, whatever, because if you work for the Government now... your pension money is already being siphoned off to pay for the debt that we can't pay for because we've hit that inconvenient debt ceiling already.  Yep, all that pension money was just sitting there anyway waiting for you to retire, so the Government feels it would be put to better use now by paying for all of the crap they want that they can't pay for because they took the crap buying money and paid for something else... like shrimp treadmills.

So, what happens when they run out of Federal pension money or need to pay someone's Federal pension... yep, their hand will be in the 401k pocket in the guise of "investing it in a more secure Treasury Bond program that isn't at risk with the whims of the free market" blah blah.

But you can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that Medicare and Social Security will be there for you in your golden years... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This Old Foreclosed House - Update

Yeah, yeah, I know, its been a while since I've updated my blog.  Frankly there's just so much stupidity going on that its overloaded my brain.  There just isn't enough time in the day to blog about all of it, it would be a full time job... if full time job meant sitting on my ass all day and blogging while shoving cheese doodles in my face and not getting paid.

So, here is the latest installment of "This Old Foreclosed House", because there's just oodles of stuff going on there.

First, let's all recall what the craptastic foreclosed house looked like for a few years while it went through the foreclosure process:

Through years of complaining to the Health Department, we finally got them to cover the half filled with crap and water mosquito swarmed inground pool wreck:

So... there it sat for a few years, with more phone calls, more complaining to the bank that owned it...

FINALLY, some work started getting done on it, but we're pretty sure they contracted out to the local "some guy who has a pickup truck and a screwdriver" to do the work because...

Some guy with a pickup truck and a screwdriver and some friends started dismantling the back addition to the house and throwing all of the debris into the pool.  When they were done throwing the back end of the house in the pool, they threw the vermin filled shed in the pool, broke up the concrete around the pool and threw it in the pool and then...
Yep, brought in fill dirt and started burying all of the junk.  They also left half of the rickety deck up... for some reason.  Sure, we called the health department about it, but by the time they showed up...
In ground pool?  What in ground pool, I have no idea what you're talking about... please note, the fence is gone now... 3 guesses on where it went.

Allrighty then.  It came as no surprise when this happened:
Which meant even more dirt on top and some straw, to make it very tasty:
There!  Nobody will know what kind of crap is buried under there, and lets rip off the siding while we're at it... yeah, that looks GREAT!

How about we build an extension to the rickety deck using 2x4s for supports with no supports at the back... yeah, that would be great!  We can also throw mis-matched gray siding to it, and as an added bonus, lets throw some of that gray siding over that window we boarded over... yeah, that looks GREAT!


There was a LOT of speculating and even some betting as to whether the deck was level.
 Hubby claimed it was all an optical illusion because of the way the boards were, and the darker crappy rotted wood of the old section... so I went over and checked.
Yep, its level... amazingly enough, its level.

So then... they started painting the gray siding white... I have no idea.
The part that really pisses me off... their "yard" looks better than mine
But at least I know that if I dig in my yard, I'm not going to unearth half a house, a shed, some fencing, concrete, insulation, drywall, mold and probably the body of a mobster.