My busy life

There hasn’t been much posting here, because my life has become quite busy this year. There are a number of issues that have been demanding my attention as of late. Since the first of the year:

  1. I work two jobs: Firefighter, which takes up 56 hours a week of my time, plus the 202 hours of overtime I have worked so far this year, and I also work in Health Services for a local theme park.
  2. I am currently attending college, and trying to tie up the last of this degree. I am taking 25 credit hours this semester, and finals are next week. All 8 classes are A’s thus far, with one possibly a B. I graduate magna cum laude with my fourth college degree in June.
  3. I took the GRE exam to enter a Master’s degree program next year. I spent quite a bit of time studying for that, and it paid off: 630 verbal, 780 math.
  4. I also studied for and passed the Amateur radio technician’s license.
  5. I am representing myself pro se in my mortgage foreclosure case, and in a lawsuit against my mortgage holder. I settled the lawsuit for a hefty sum, and it looks like the court will be dismissing the foreclosure case, so I get to stay in my home awhile longer.
  6. and I am a season ticket holder for the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team, and I have to drive 70 miles each way to attend hockey games.

So, as you can see, blogging sometimes takes a back seat to the rest of my life. I am working to get into graduate school so that I can go do something else once they cut my pension benefits as a firefighter. I can do better than what I am getting paid. I have not had a raise in over four years, in fact I make 20% less than I did four years ago. There will be no raises in the foreseeable future, and now they are cutting pension benefits in half. No thanks. If the cuts go through, I am done. The only reason I didn’t leave years ago was that pension.

I am a hard working, intelligent employee who brings a lot to the table. I think I can do better. I will be getting my Masters of Health Science and go be a Physician’s Assistant now. More money, fewer dirtbags.

This happened to me

I know the cartoon is funny, but something similar happened to me about five years ago. We were dispatched to a reported drug overdose at one of our local Hispanic night clubs. (For those who are unaware, more than 45% of the local population speaks Spanish as a primary language. There is no shortage of Spanish dance clubs around Central Florida.) A young lady had called 911 to report that she and her friend were in the restroom of the club, and her friend had overdosed on an unknown drug. When we arrived on scene in the rig with all of the emergency lights flashing, I got out and went to enter the club.

The bouncer at the door told me that I had to pay the cover charge in order to enter. Thinking that he was kidding, I laughed. He blocked the door. Pointing to my uniform, I told him that I was there on official business and brushed past him. No sooner did I enter the restroom, when I was jumped by four bouncers who carried me out through the club, with the patrons of the club shouting at me, “Get out Gringo,” and yelling Spanish obscenities. The bouncers threw me out the door, and told me that whites were not allowed inside.

I called for Police backup, and got no fewer than 15 Deputies. We wound up treating our patient, and the Manager (and his bouncers) got a lecture from the cops. No arrests were made.

It doesn’t add up

I went to the Doctor’s office yesterday, and the copay was $25. I handed the woman two $20 bills, and she had to use a calculator to figure out how much change I was owed.

We left there and went to lunch at Chik-fil-A. The bill for lunch was $13.31. I handed the lady $14. She accidentally typed in $13, and the register display indicated that there was still 31 cents due. She handed me 31 cents in change. I pointed out her mistake, and she got flustered because she didn’t know how to make change. I finally had to tell her that she owed me 38 cents. Instead, she made me return the 31 cents, called a manager over to override the last transaction, and did it all over again.

Can’t anyone perform even simple math anymore?

Free house?

Probably not, but here is my story:
I bought my home in April of 2007 for about $240,000. I was intending to live there once I married my fiance. Together, we were making $110,000 a year, and we could easily afford the $1800 a month payments. The problem was that the bottom fell out a year later.

Being an employee of local government, my income is based upon an employer who derives income from local property taxes. Since property values were falling like a stone, our hours were being cut. By September of 2009, we were making $20,000 a year less than we were when we bought the house. Worse, the house was now worth less than half of what it was when we bought it. To make matters worse, my wife’s student loans came due, and she lost her job a month later. Stuck with a falling paycheck and a depreciating asset, we made the decision to declare bankruptcy. During the bankruptcy, my mortgage bank provided copies of my promissory note and mortgage, stated that they were the owner of the mortgage and the note, and asked the judge for permission to begin foreclosing on the house. This is where things get interesting.

I had intended on returning the house to the bank as soon as they foreclosed on it. I figured that would take six months, at the most. They filed a foreclosure suit against me, and provided me with copies of the note and mortgage as proof to the court that they were entitled to foreclose on the house. The only problem? The note in the foreclosure was a different piece of paper than the one they gave the bankruptcy court. It turns out that my note and mortgage were sold to Fannie Mae in 2007, and my mortgage bank was just servicing the loan- that is, taking my payments and forwarding them on. Who knows which mortgage company Fannie Mae sold it to after that, no one knows. In other words, they committed perjury. (For my Republican/Conservative readers: Remember that perjury was considered to be enough of a crime to impeach President Clinton, so don’t lecture me on how requiring that a mortgager not fabricate things in court is just a “hyper technical” legal loophole.)

I sued my mortgage bank, and they have agreed to settle out of court. It looks like they are going to write me a large check. The rub here is that no one knows who owns the rights to foreclose on my home. Until someone can prove that they are the one with the right to foreclose, I live here for free. We are at 15 months and counting.

One at a time: A range report

There are many who claim that Liberals are stupid and illogical, especially when it comes to gun rights. I would agree that some of them are. I would also say that some know better, but deliberately hide the truth to fit an agenda. Some Liberals realize that the right to defend one’s life and health from attack, aided by the right to keep and bear arms, is just as important as other human rights.

However, it is my opinion that the vast number of people who say they do not like guns or are afraid of guns, do not have this opinion because of logic, they have this opinion out of ignorance. I am not saying this as an insult, as I know a few people who think this way, and they are pretty intelligent people, who in many cases, will listen to reason and can be convinced to change their mind. Let me give you a couple of examples:

There was Julie. She was a fairly liberal, college educated Jewish woman that I dated for about two years. When we met, and she found out that not only did I own guns, but actually routinely carried one, she nearly went ballistic. She was especially concerned that it was legal to carry a gun into a bank, because an armed person might rob the bank. I pointed out to her how illogical her position was, and how a having a gun doesn’t make you a bank robber any more than having a computer makes you a hacker, and told her: “So a person is about to rob a bank, when he realizes that it is illegal to have a gun in a bank, and so he goes home and gets a job?”

A year or so later, she told me that I was one of the least violent people she had ever met, and that I had totally changed her opinion on gun owners. Even though she now has no interest in owning a gun herself, she is at least no longer antagonistic towards gun owners, and has seen the light.

There is Jennifer. She has been a friend of mine for about 10 years, and is a 30-something college educated professional who works in the medical field. She is a self described Liberal, and until she met me had never even seen a gun before, except on TV. I took her to the range last night, and she genuinely enjoyed it, even though she tells me that she would not care to own a gun herself.

I made jokes, and put her at ease. I told her that for safety reasons, it is customary for first time shooters to dress like Catholic Schoolgirls, so that other shooters know that they are new and are careful around them. She laughed, and then said, “Not a chance.” 

A little gentle persuasion, and a trip to the range to shoot a Sig Mosquito, and she is hooked. I gave her a lot of encouragement, a quick safety lecture on the four rules, and let her shoot the less powerful guns ( Sig Mosquito and a Glock 19 with subsonic ammo). Couple that with a large target at 7 yards, and she did well. She grinned like a Cheshire cat. All of her shots were in a 6 inch group, and she kept the target to show her Liberal family and friends. After,. we went to dinner, and she told me that she had been afraid and nervous all day, and now saw that there was nothing to be worried about.

Perhaps I will take some of her liberal family and friends shooting as well. No matter what, I will not start them off on a scary hand cannon or large bore moose gun. No, I have a Sig Mosquito, and a Ruger 10/22 that is used specifically to teach people new to guns that shooting can be safe and fun.

That is how you win the fight. Many Liberals are smart, conscientious people who will make the smart, logical choice, if the information is given to them in a non confrontational, non intimidating way. We will win the fight for our rights, because logic and reason is on our side.

Speaking of Deficit spending

Microsoft has announced that they will discontinue support for the software called “Money.”  This loss of support has been coupled with the reduction of the functionality of the software. This included my Money software informing me that the software was expired, and I could no longer use it unless I renewed my subscription.  I have used this software to keep track of my checkbooks for the last 8 and a half years, and these changes have forced me to transition to Quicken. Needless to say, this is causing a few issues.

One issue became apparent last month, when I found out that reconciling the software with my bank statement is not as seamless with Quicken as it was with Money. Another problem became apparent this morning, when I went to close out September by reconciling Quicken with my September bank statement. Apparently, Quicken failed to download a transaction earlier in the month, and this caused me to overdraw my checking account. Since I pay all of my bills at the beginning of the month, my checking account was overdrawn by $75.

Luckily, I have my savings account linked to my checking, and the bank thoughtfully transferred the funds to cover the overdrafts. For a fee.

Musical interlude

This lady is one of the most talented singers I have heard in the last few years.

That is one smooth, smoky voice. This one looks graceful, since she incorporates sign language:

For something a little peppier:

I know this makes me sound like an old fart, but most singers today seem more like produced products where looks matter more than talent. That is not true of Ms. Furler. Exceptional talent, great voice, and still cute and peppy without being slutty or trashy.

I beat the big dogs to it!!!

When I made this post two weeks ago, I didn’t realize that I was gonna beat the big dogs to a story. SayUncle, Tam, and practically the entire Blogosphere are now onto the lies spewing from CBS. It seems like there is an overwhelming effort by the MSM to get ready for the upcoming elections.

If a Dem wins the White House, be ready for more asinine and useless gun laws that will do little to effect crime, but much to reduce liberty.