Monday, December 31, 2007

Debt Be Gone

It's done! It is actually paid off. After months of messing with this thing, I have actually been able to get this debt paid off. Black Gold is officially paid off. I just got off the phone with Juanita at Black Gold. She took my PayPal debit card number and that was the end of it. The last $30 was paid today.

I no longer have to worry about this debt.



New Attorney General Won't Be Any of The Favorites

I was listening to the radio this morning, and a talk show host in Topeka (Jim Cates) was telling what he had been hearing in regards to who the new Attorney General (in Kansas) will be. Surprisingly it seems he and I have been hearing the same thing.

So who will be replace embattled AG Paul Morrison? According to undisclosed sources I believe I now know who it will be. You can scratch Chris Biggs, he won't be the new Attorney General. Neither will Steve Boyda, husband of Congresswoman Nancy Boyda. Nor will it be my personal favorite Dan Lykins, or Congressman Dennis Moore or the turncoat and former state Republican Chairman Mark Parkinson.

Nope all the indicators seem to point to the next Attorney General to be Charles Branson. The Douglas County District Attorney, who is currently serving his first term. Branson, was also a criminal defense attorney for years before he was elected as DA in 2004. In addition that win was a pretty decisive one, in year of major Republican gains elsewhere in the state and the nation.

Finally, sources say that the official announcement will be within the next 10 days.

Democrats...

Democrats Wrong on Most Issues, Most of The Time

Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007's Top 5 Favorite ways To Destroy Credit Cards

We all know you should destroy your credit cards (as Dave Ramsey says). Scissors and shredders get the job done, but how much fun is that? There’s got to be more entertaining ways to destroy your card, so I’ve searched all over to find you the top 5 ways to dispose of your credit cards.



Kids, don’t try this at home.



5. Microwave it
This may not be the most effective means but still a fun method of destroying your credit card. I really expected it to spark and crack rather than ... well, you'll see.






4. Blow it up
Very funny. Watch and be amused as this Amateur shows his cards who is boss.






3. Blend it
Looks kind of fun, I don’t think anyone will be getting those card numbers.





2. Mow it
The Prince (that's me) destroys not only my credit cards, but those of a friend (Sean) while I attempt to keep the camera steady (not to successfully) on the destruction.





- and the number one way to destroy your credit cards. -

1. Shoot it
An entertaining little "soap opera" of the credit card which refused to die.










James 1:2-3

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hitler Speaks

The following is an interesting video clip that is circulating on MySpace.

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: § Lori §
Date: Dec 29, 2007 8:25 PM


When Adolf Hitler bought Eva Braun a movie camera, to film the people and parties which occurred at their Bavarian retreat, the technology ... all » to include synchronized sound had not yet been developed.

So when soldiers discovered Hitler's private home movies, in the Berlin bunker where the Nazi leader took his own life, the tantalizing clips they unearthed, featuring leading members of the SS in a more relaxed mode, remained silent for 60 years.

Now, leading edge lip reading software has enabled German experts to re-voice these films and provide us with a chilling insight into Hitlers private world.






..

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Saving Energy Video

Here is an interesting video to watch on saving energy around your home. I need to get to a computer that has working audio so that I can actually hear it. The video is provided by Westar Energy, which is headquartered here in Topeka, KS. Ticker symbol WR.



How to establish and keep a budget

Many people think that sticking to a budget means they won't be able to have the things they want. In fact, the opposite is true. A budget can help you preserve your lifestyle AND pay off debt while saving for the future. But if you sometimes have trouble making ends meet, a formal month-to-month spending plan is a must. It may be easier than you think to establish a budget that will work for you. Use these six steps below and the Budget Calculator to get started.
1. Set Goals. If you don't know where your finances are going, how can you reach your destination? Establish your own desired goals for paying down debt and saving money for the future. Goals are a road map to where you want to be.
2. Determine Current Spending. Write down everything you spend over a three-month period. Try to account for ALL of your spending. If you pay by debit card, check your receipts. If you spend cash, write down what it's for.
3. Determine Your Current Budget. Take the information from Step 2 and put it into the Budget Calculator to determine what your current budget would look like based on your present spending habits. You will be able to recognize the excess right away and see where your problem areas are.
4. Create a New Budget. Now it's time to redirect some spending in ways that will help you reach your goals. If you can, try to find ways to free up more money for savings or to pay off consumer debt.
5. Measure Your Progress. Continue to keep records, and once every three months assess your progress. Are you paying down debt? Are you building your savings? As you go along, you may need to reassess either your goals or your budget.
6. Reward Yourself! Your budgeting efforts should be a combination of hard work and fun, so create a reward system that accompanies each of your financial goals. When you make progress, reward yourself in some small way — have dinner out or go to the movies.



Friday, December 28, 2007

James 3:9-10

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be

Fraudsters Try to Con me on The Phone

A few minutes ago, I received a call from an "Unknown" number on my cell phone. The person said that he was so and so with "Client services." Client services of what? He didn't say. He then said he was calling about the overdrafts at bank of America.
At which point I said "client services?" He then asked me did you not know about these? I said I had an account I closed because B. O. A. wouldn't do anything about the fraud that I was victim of.

His reply was that for fraud I have to fill out a report. I told him that I told the branch my story and they said that they couldn't do anything, because... He interupted and laughed, saying I can see why i am calling. At which time I said I didn't believe he was who he claimed, and hung up on him. He certainly wasn't interested in listening with his constant interrupting, besides there was to many indications he was lying.

I then looked up the phone number on B. O. A. website and told them about the call. The operator who I spoke with said that she looked and there was no client services to even direct me to, plus B. o.A.'s number would not be blocked. Blocking the number by an agency such as this would be a violation of the law in several states including Kansas. Further proof that the guy was lying.

So with out question someone was trying to pull a con job on me and it simply didn't work. Could he have been calling based on information he obtained in this very blog?


Related Posts:
Customer Service
The Banking Experiment That Went Horribly Wrong
Phone Back On/Changes To Be Made
Lost the Phone thanks to the fraud
Trying to Clean Up the Mess
Time to Come Clean & Be Honest about My Stupidity




A Look At The IRS Debt

After posting my financial resolutions for 2008 Dedicated made the suggestion


Call the IRS, with your debt papers in hand. Your goal is to get the debt reduced or eliminated. In my experience, I have seen the IRS eliminate, completely, debts with higher income than yours. I do not believe you earn enough - at your debt level to repay this debt.

If you would rather not call. Write a letter to the address on the notice, include a copy of the notice, divulge all your financial information (income and debts) and request that they give you debt forgiveness on this.

The way I see it, you have nothing to lose. And freedom to gain.


Even though I have called them before and set it up where they wouldn't hound me because of my income, I decided I would try to make that call (1-800-829-1040). The IRS is charging me 5%-8% interest on this debt.

When I finally got someone on the phone, the person said the only way to reduce the amount of debt was for me to fill out a form with an offer of how much I can pay. The application (Form 656) would require a mandatory fee of $145 to be included with the application. This would also require providing proof of income, copies of my bills and any other related documents. The IRS office will then make a determination and will notify me in 30-45 days if my offer was accepted.

I am intrigued by the possibility, but where am I going to get the application fee? Also the fee will not be applied to my debt so basically it just be lost?

As I have stated I am in "deferral" and the IRS is not making any hard pressure to collect although all my refunds go directly to them.


  • Credit Card 36%
  • Home Improvement 16%
  • Car Loan 10.45%
  • IRS 5%-8% (at one point it even dropped to 4% before going back up to 5% and then higher)
  • Finger Hut 1%
  • Black Gold Insulation

    Any thoughts?


  • Are my Resolutions Realistic for 2008


    As the new year comes upon us, it is time once again to consider one's New Years Resolutions, and to look back at the past year's. As a personal finance blogger, perhaps I should take a better look at my financial situation for 2008. Will I really be able to reach my goals or am I being overly optimistic?
    Our first stop is to see how I did with the resolutions that I made last year.

  • Officially pay-off and eliminate the credit card.
    Since I still had charges being charged to this card for part of 2007, I didn't make this goal. I did make significant inroads on this debt in the last 6 months, having eliminated 3/4 of the debt. I expect this debt to be gone no later then Feb. 29, 2008.

  • Eliminate the remaining Home Improvement Loan. - While I didn't finish getting this debt paid off, I did make significant inroads to reducing the debt. It may be optimistic, but I am hopeful that I can get the last $950 paid off by the end of July, so that I can focus on the my bigger debts. Of course to do that I will have to figure out whee I am going to come up with the additional $100 over my current minimum payments.

  • The Chevy. - When I did my resolutions at this time last year, I wanted to figure out how to get out from being upside down in this loan. I was hopping to either get a significant amount of this debt paid, or to sell the car and get a cheaper car to drive around in. At this point, I still have the car, and the Credit Union is withdrawing $100/week from my account to keep this loan current.

  • Education. - While I looked at taking some classes in finances, none of the schools I looked at worked out. They wanted me to go into debt and said they had no grant money whatsoever to help finance my further education. Since, I refuse to go into deeper debt, I am continuing to look.

  • Love. - Last year my resolve was to be in a better place financially, so that I could once again date and find my soul mate. While, I did go on one date this past year, it did not develop into anything more after that one date. Besides, I am not financially able to date at this time anyway.


    So now that we have looked at last year, my goals for 2008 are:

  • Get everything except the car paid off - I feel more confident then I did this time last year that I will be able to get all of my debts, excluding the auto loan, paid off by the end of this year. I will finally see an end to several of these bills that I have spent nearly the last 2-years working on. (You can see my position by looking at the chart below).

  • Home Improvement - Once my home improvement loan is paid off (by March 31), I would like to get insulation installed in the walls of my house, finally get central air-conditioning and repair parking in the back. I want to do this without taking on additional debt, which means I will have to save up first. I am not sure I will actually be able to do this in 2008, but I certainly would like to see it happen.

  • Love - Waiting for God's timing is what I keep telling myself, but that is hard to do sometimes, especially when one desires a helpmate. It is my hope that I will be able get more financial stable in 2008, so that I can feel comfortable dating again.

    AccountOutstanding BalanceMonthly Minimum PaymentPayments This Month
    Providian Credit Card$395$25$200
    Amerifirst Mortgage
    $990$75$35
    FingerHut$1,000$50$10
    Car Loan
    $10,745$400$405
    IRS$3,796$0$0


    Would love to hear your thoughts.


    "Strange things happen when you're in debt. Two weeks ago my car broke down and my phone got disconnected. I was one electric bill away from being Amish."
    - Comedian Tom Ryan



  • 20 Grand Still Aludes Me

    I received my last paycheck for the year. In 2007, I earned a total of $19,511.65. Maybe this next year, will be the year I will finally break $20,000. Of course $30,000 would be better but that means I would have to make in excess of $14 an hour. Since my company only hands out 25 cent raises then it will be many many years before I see earnings like that, unless I can position myself to become an assistant manager. Then I will be offered a bigger raise for going salaried instead hourly. Which is something I am willing to do for the extra income. Something I am willing to do to stay with my current employer.




    Thursday, December 27, 2007

    le maison du cygne

    For some time I have thought about giving my house a name. I know, I know, usually only wealthy people with big estates tend to do that. But why can't a broke middle class wage earner do the same thing? It's not like there is some law that says we can't. I would like to add a wrought iron fence in front yard with a sign that proclaims this to be, "le maison du cygne." Which translated is French for "the house of the swan."

    Why house of the swan? I grew up in the city of La Cygne (the Swan) on the banks of the Mari des Cygne (Marsh of the swan). I have swan planters on either side of the steps leading to the porch, so le maison du cygne.

    What do you all think? Of course my debts will come first.


    Almost There



    I called Black Gold insulation today. Still owing $180 and wanting to get this debt paid off by the end of the year (for the tax credit purpose), I wanted to make sure a payment was made this week. I am suppose to get enough from PayPal to pay off the remainder of this debt. However, part of the money was earned 30 days ago today and I won't see it until tomorrow, then more was earned on the Nov 29 and is due on December 29. The question is since the 29th is a weekend will I get the payment when I need it? Then if i do will Black Gold be open on the 31st. The last question is a yes. So I am still waiting to find out if the new payments will be available to me by the 31st.

    Anyway, with todays call I paid $150 of the money still owing. Juanita, who is so pleasant to talk to and has been wonderful to work with over the last few months, said she would get a new invoice out. I did tell her, that I was hopeful to have the remaining $30 will be paid off by the end of the year, but I was waiting on some additional revenue to make that happen.

    My PayPal balance is now $15 with the 2 expected PayPerPost receipts totaling $16. Now I guess I will just have to wait and see if I get those payments in time to make that last payment on Dec. 31.

    Additionally, I see that I am within about $30 for my Goggle ad sense to pay half of my remaining balance on my credit card next month. I am excited. As I am finally seeing these 2 debts almost paid off, I am more encouraged then before that this really is possible. Once I get them paid off, I will turn my focus onto Fingerhut, the home improvement loan (AmeriFirst) and the KGB IRS.

    Budget January 2008

    In December, I began putting the tithe aka charitable giving back into my budget. As I have posted on a number of occasions I don't feel comfortable sharing the actual number. Since the Bible says to let your giving be done in secret with only God knowing. The Bible also talks about the the pharisees and how they bragged about their giving such as the example in the widows mite, where they gave little of their great wealth but the widow gave all she had. There is also the example of the pharisees blowing their own horn to call attention to all their great works.

    It is for these reasons, I am not putting the exact dollar amount of my my giving online.
    I am continuing to pay down my debt. As December draws to a close, I am not sure if I will completely pay off the Black Gold Debt (I am $20 from goal). As such I have them on my January budget.



    ItemBudgetedActualOwed
    GIVING

    Tithe/Charity$??
    $??
    subtotal
    $??

    HOUSING


    Mortgage$35
    $990.89
    Insurance
    $0

    Maintenance$0

    Taxes
    $0





    subtotal
    $35

    $990.89
    UTILITIES

    Electric
    $80

    Gas
    $80

    Water
    $30

    Internet
    $35
    Phone
    $0

    Cell phone
    $50

    Trash
    $15.50




    subtotal
    $290.50

    FOOD

    Grocery$50




    subtotal
    $50

    Transportation


    Auto Gas$80

    Insurance
    $0
    Maintenance
    $0
    Tags & Taxes
    $0

    Car Payment
    $400

    $10,581.27
    subtotal$480

    $10,581.27
    CLOTHING

    Sunday Best
    $0
    Work
    $0
    Everyday
    $0
    subtotal
    $0

    MEDICAL/HEALTH


    Prescriptions
    $0
    Deductibles
    $0
    Eye Doctor
    $0
    Insurance
    $0
    subtotal
    $0

    RECREATION/Memberships

    Entertainment
    $0
    Dating
    $0
    Optimist Membership$40

    Farm Bureau Membership
    $35

    Subtotal$75

    DEBTS


    Providian Credit Card
    $30

    $394
    Fingerhut
    $10

    $1,000
    Black Gold Insulation
    $0

    $30
    IRS
    $0

    $3,795.52
    Subtotal$40

    $5,219.52







    Do you know what phishing is?


    Hey, have you ever heard of phishing? It's those emails you get that look like they're from a real company, but are actually fake. Well there's a new Fight Phishing Challenge that can show you how good you are at spotting the fakes. I just took it. You should try it - I earned a badge by scoring a perfect 5 out of 5. Open a new browser and type www.paypal.com/fightphishing.

    Let me know you score when you're finished.


    Psalm 16:11

    You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore

    Wednesday, December 26, 2007

    Christmas 2007

    Yesterday was Christmas day. I made the trek to my parents home and ultimately to my sisters place in Pittsburgh, KS. My day started with the 120 mile drive to La Cygne. Which actually was made longer when I missed my turn on to K-33.

    When I finally arrived in my hometown, I stopped by the Methodist Church, which serves a breakfast on Christmas morning. I was prepared to make a donation, but they weren't accepting any. They did have me sign a thank you card to the guy who provided the meat and food for the breakfast. When I left they gave me 2 loaves of bread to bring home with me.

    When I arrived at my parents home we opened presents, before going on to Pittsburgh. Shortly after arriving we at lunch and opened presents with my little sister and nephews.

    The items I received were as follows:
  • Cologne and deodorant
  • shoe shine kit
  • "Magic Shine" (travelers shoe shine kit)
  • Oven mitt
  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • Men's Travel Personal Care Set
  • scrubby pad with lady bug holder
  • Eyeglass Cleaning kit
  • Eyeglass repair kit
  • Tupperware Rock'n serve dish
  • small metal trash can with penguins on it
  • 3-in-1 Cotton Set (10 cotton pads/10 cotton balls/200 cotton swabs)
  • Items for movie night (2 bags microwave popcorn/bowls/pitcher/cups)
  • Fun Game in a bottle
  • scrapbook of Newspaper clippings of all the disasters to hit Kansas in 2007
  • CD caddy for the car
  • 2-in-1 Shampoo

    If any of my family is reading, thank you. Now I need to find a place for each of these items. Thanks also to the La Cygne Methodist Church for breakfast and the bread.

    related post: My Christmas list 2007



  • Philippians 3:14

    I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Dems, GOP don't even agree on the holidays

    Since tomorrow is Christmas, I wanted to keep this post lite.

    Last year I became aware of a kind of joke that has been circulating the Internet since at least 2002, so without further ado, who says the best way to tell Republicans from Democrats is by observing how they act during the holidays.
    I found my actions/favorites, would make me a member of both parties, so as a Christmas treat, I thought I would share this with all of you. Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah to all my readers at DebtFree4ever.net and Cjonline. I hope everyone enjoys it.


    Republicans say "Merry Christmas!"
    Democrats say "Happy Holidays!"

    Republicans help the poor during the holidays by sending $50 to the Salvation Army.
    Democrats help the poor by giving $50, one buck at a time, to panhandlers on the street.

    Democrats get back at Republicans on their Christmas list by giving them fruitcakes.
    Republicans re-wrap them and send them to in-laws.

    When not in stores, Republicans use a catalog.
    Democrats watch for "incredible TV offers" on late-night TV.

    Democrats do a lot of their shopping at Costco and Wal-Mart.
    So do Republicans, but they don't admit it.

    Republican parents have no problem buying their kids toy guns.
    Democrats refuse to do so. That is why their kids pretend to shoot each other with dolls.

    Republicans spend hundreds of dollars and hours of work decorating the yard with outdoor lights and Christmas displays.
    Democrats save their time and money and drive around at night to enjoy the scenery.

    Democrats' favorite Christmas movie is "Miracle on 34th Street."
    Republicans' favorite Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life."
    Right-wing Republicans' favorite Christmas movie is "Die Hard."

    Republicans always take the price tag off any expensive gifts they buy before wrapping.
    Democrats also remove tags from pricey gifts ... and reposition them to make sure they are seen.

    Republicans wear wide red ties and green sport jackets during the festive season.
    So do Democrats, all year round.

    Most Republicans try, at least once, enclosing indulgent, wretchedly maudlin form letters about their families in Christmas cards.
    Public ridicule from Democrats usually discourages them from doing it again.

    Democrats' favorite Christmas song is "Deck the Halls."
    Young Democrats' favorite Christmas song is "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."
    Republicans' favorite Christmas song is " White Christmas."
    Young Republicans' favorite Christmas song is "White Christmas."

    Cheapskate Republicans buy an artificial Christmas tree.
    Tightfisted Democrats buy a real tree, but they wait until the week before Christmas, when the lots lower their prices.

    Democratic men like to watch football while wives, girlfriends or mothers fix holiday meals.
    On this, Republicans are in full agreement.

    Republicans see nothing wrong with letting their children play "Cowboys and Indians."
    Democrats don't, either, as long as the Indians get to win.

    Republicans first began thinking like Republicans when they stopped believing in Santa Claus.
    Democrats became Democrats because they never stopped believing in Santa Claus.

    ---Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah to all my readers at DebtFree4ever.net and Cjonline------




    Sunday, December 23, 2007

    The Secret to Get More

    How many times have you heard someone say or perhaps said yourself, that if the boss paid more money then they/you would give him/her more work? It is a common theme I have heard numerous times. In fact as a shift manager, I have heard it more times then I care to count. My usual answer is what several financial writers and bloggers seem to be witting in the last couple of weeks.

    The simple fact is, you will get more when you give more. Make yourself more valuable to your employer, s/he will in turn give you more. It simply does not work for you or anyone else get more, if you unwilling to give more. So if you want to earn more money, then give more to your employer.

    Show up early and stay late. Take the initiative to write that report, instead of passing it off to someone else.

    Maybe, you just need to give up more time to take a second job, so that you can earn more. Notice that I am saying earn, rather then make, only the treasury department can make money legally without going to jail.

    Also give to charity. I know, I have repeatedly said to save your money, but some reason this actually works. When you help someone else, and put them before your own needs, your remaining money seems to stretch further. As I said, I can't explain it, but it seems to actually work.

    Larry Winget tells of a time when he was bankrupt and he had the urge to give $100. After he put in the mail, he wondered how he would explain this to his wife. That night, his attorney stopped by his home. Wondering about the unusual house call, he invited him in. The attorney explained that someone had forgiven a huge debt in his practice and he wanted to pass on the good fortune and handed Larry an invoice and said that it was forgiven. As Larry looked at the invoice in disbelief, he noticed the bill (now forgiven) had been $100.

    However, the principle doesn't stop there or with finances. Give up TV time or time with your buddies and spend more time with your family and your relationship with them will grow. No matter what it is, you have to give more to get more.



    Buried Under

    Yesterday, we got 9 inches of snow here in Topeka. Drifts are much deeper. It has been a long time since I have seen that much snow here. Heck, I never seen that much during the time I lived at 920 W. Wilson in Chicago (there is even a song called 920 about that address).

    Anyway the snow did help cause a major accident just west of town
    KDOT is reporting that Westbound I-70 is closed from Milepost 353/Auburn Road to K/30 at Maple Hill just west of Topeka. Traffic is detoured to US-75 then across to US-24.



    Saturday, December 22, 2007

    Really Screwed Up Now

    Just as I thought I was making some headway, I messed up. I grabbed checks from a closed account and wrote 2 checks (totaling $31.39) on them before I noticed. I thought I had gotten rid of these checks. Really can't explain why I still had them around, now I must go try to fix them. Hopefully before they cost me more money.




    Friday, December 21, 2007

    CIGNA Insurance Refuses Life Preserving Surgery

    Did you hear about the greedy insurance company that refused to pay for a liver transplant? Seems CIGNA Insurance Company initially refused to cover the cost of the transplant for 17-year-old Natalee Sarkisian, saying the surgery was too experimental. A liver transplant Experimental in 2007? Despite doctors urging the insurance company to reconsider CIGNA wouldn't budge. So yesterday (Thursday 12/20/07) protesters gathered outside the company's Glendale, CA office to protest. During which the company called to tell the mother that they had changed their minds. However, the decision was to late. Her condition worsened and she was taken off life support within hours of the decision reversal.

    I am glad that I don't have this insurance company. If I did, I would strongly consider dumping them. It appears that they don't really care about their customers, despite the claim that their hearts are with the family. Sounds to me their hearts are with their wallets.

    Simply put they suck!

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1942702/posts

    http://www.myfoxla.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=5278599&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

    http://cbs2.com/local/nataline.sarkisyan.CIGNA.2.615167.html


    CIGNA Insurance Refuses Life Preserving Surgery

    Did you hear about the greedy insurance company that refused to pay for a liver transplant? Seems CIGNA Insurance Company initially refused to cover the cost of the transplant for 17-year-old Natalee Sarkisian, saying the surgery was too experimental. A liver transplant Experimental in 2007? Despite doctors urging the insurance company to reconsider CIGNA wouldn't budge. So yesterday (Thursday 12/20/07) protesters gathered outside the company's Glendale, CA office to protest. During which the company called to tell the mother that they had changed their minds. However, the decision was to late. Her condition worsened and she was taken off life support within hours of the decision reversal.

    I am glad that I don't have this insurance company. If I did, I would strongly consider dumping them. It appears that they don't really care about their customers, despite the claim that their hearts are with the family. Sounds to me their hearts are with their wallets.

    Simply put they suck!

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1942702/posts

    http://www.myfoxla.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=5278599&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.2.1

    http://cbs2.com/local/nataline.sarkisyan.CIGNA.2.615167.html

    Christmas Letter

    Well Christmas time is upon us again. I have been procrastinating
    getting this wrote. So I guess, without further ado, I will hunker
    down and get it wrote.

    The past year has been both a blessing and a curse. My blog
    (http://www.DebtFree4ever.net) continues to grow and remains in the top 100 personal finance blogs on line. In October, I started writing
    a personal finance blog for the Topeka Capital Journal's website.
    Trying to keep up with both of these blogs (on a volunteer basis) as
    well as all my other smaller blogs can be a challenge, but allows me
    to hone my writing skills. Something, I had been neglecting for to
    many years. For someone who dreamed of being a full-time writer the
    blogs thing is one of the best things that could happen.

    On the other hand I developed foot pain, that some mornings make it
    very difficult to walk. I have a cane by the side of the bed for
    these mornings. After talking with a co-worker about this problem
    and looking it up on the Internet, it seems to be plantar fasciitis
    (aka heel spurs). I have thrown out my crappy Payless shoes (that
    offer no support), and bought some quality Brooks shoes that actually
    offers some support and bought some good quality inserts with arch
    support. Since making these two changes alone, I have had less
    problems. I am hopeful that after a couple of the other suggested
    changes will do the trick with out actually having to go to the
    doctor.

    At work, I was transfered (Memorial day) from the Price Chopper where
    I was the overnight manager to the Falley's store in North Topeka.
    It was the fourth time in my history with that company that I had been
    assigned to that store. In November the company closed that location
    and transfered me for my third assignment at the Falley's on Gage blvd
    in Topeka. So far no one has suggested I go to one of the stores out
    of town, thank goodness.

    Well I guess that's about it, So with that I will bring this letter
    to a close and Wish everyone of you and your families a very Merry
    Christmas and a happy New Year. God bless!



    $5 off $5 Purchase at Sears

    I just learned, that Sears is offering $5 off of any tool or home and garden purchase of $5 or more through January 22, 2008. Hurry! Sounds like a great deal.

    Print out the coupon, and head to the store for your own bargain.



    Christmas Card Thank You's

    I would like to take this time to thank everyone who has sent me a Christmas card this holiday season. To each and everyone of you. thank you. Whether you sent a card or not, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!
    1. Miranda
    2. Travis and Rochel
    3. Uncle Don
    4. Joe K.
    5. Cliff and Phyllis Oshel (my foster parents)




    6. Dave Ramsey
    7. Pete Whitebird Ministry
    8. Steve Pinkerton and the folks at the USPS in Topeka
    9. Shawnee County District Attorney Bob Hecht
    10. Dr. Jim Dobson
    11. Kansas Children's Service League



    I may be updating this list over the next few days.

    Christmas Card Thank You's

    I would like to take this time to thank everyone who has sent me a Christmas card this holiday season. To each and everyone of you. thank you. Whether you sent a card or not, I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!
    1. Miranda
    2. Travis and Rochel
    3. Uncle Don
    4. Joe K.
    5. Cliff and Phyllis Oshel (my foster parents)




    6. Dave Ramsey
    7. Pete Whitebird Ministry
    8. Steve Pinkerton and the folks at the USPS in Topeka
    9. Shawnee County District Attorney Bob Hecht
    10. Dr. Jim Dobson
    11. Kansas Children's Service League



    I may be updating this list over the next few days.

    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    Sponsored Post: Exploring Options with Credit Exchange

    One of the things that many of my readers struggle with is debt. In fact, that's why they read this blog. I am constantly berating debt. You can not borrow your way out of debt. That is why Dave Ramsey calls them CON-solidation loans, because they con you into believing it is the best option. Fact is half the people who consolidate debt, start charging on their credit cards again and end up in worse financial shape then before.

    However, if use wisely consolidation loans can help. If taking a consolidation loan cut up the credit cards and never use them again. In fact never borrow again. In addition be sure it is the best option. Often times people consolidate their high interest credit cards with their car and home loans and those loans have interest lower then the consolidation loan does.

    To help you with these decisions and what is the best method of getting out of debt for your circumstances, you might take a look at a credit counseling company such as the Credit Exchange. They will take a look at your situation and recommend a member counseling service in your area that can best help you. Whether it be debt counseling, debt settlement, or consolidation.

    Whatever you do, you must get out of debt. We as a society must stop this negative savings rate. We are not getting ahead, when we give away $2 in debt for every dollar we might put in our savings. We absolutely must start saving more then we spend, before it is to late. So please, do something about your debt today. It is time to get serious about it.


    Coming TV Change May NOT Make Your Set Obsolete

    February 17, 2009 will be here before we know it. What's so special about that day? It is the day that broadcasters across the country will turn of their analog signals and go 100% digital, by mandate of Congress. All the regular TV's in our homes will be obsolete at that point, or so conventional thinking goes.

    That conventional thinking may not be correct as Andrew Kantor pointed out in an article in the USA Today.


    Hence the (incorrect) idea that the standard TV you buy today won't work then. (Or at least not without a converter.)

    Most cable and all satellite systems already send a digital signal, and the set-top boxes those companies provide — Cablevision, Cox, DirecTV, or whatever — already do the conversion for your analog set


    So if you have a cable or satellite provider you will probably be fine with your current TV. However, if get your TV service via rabbit ears or roof top antenna and don't have a digital TV, you will be affected. Your TV will become obsolete for any broadcast signals. If you use your TV to only watch Videos/DVD's then you won't be affected either.

    So if you are saving money by only watching your local channels (via over the air signals) then you may want to start planning and putting aside a few dollars each paycheck so that you purchase a new TV. You now the change is coming, so plan for it. Make it a line in your budget. On the other hand, you might consider if you really need a TV and decide to without the broadcast channels.

    There is one other option for those affected by this conversion. You will be able to purchase converter boxes to convert your analog TV to the digital signal. The boxes will run $50-$70 each. Plus the government has arranged for consumers to be able to get $40 coupons (limit 2 per household) to offset to cost of the converter boxes. For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit the NTIA’s website, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).


    The CIA Wants Your Money

    On our road to debt freedom, one thing we must watch out for is the C. I. A.

    Nope, that's not the Central Intelligence agency, rather Convenience, Indulgence and Appearance. This is an analogy that I learned from John Cummuta, and I think it so perfectly illustrates our bad spending habits. These 3 areas are the very things we must change, if we are build our savings so that we can enjoy life.

  • Convenience - While convenience items may save us time, they are robbing us blind. It doesn't matter if it is a frozen dinner, eating out (including fast food) or the kid we have mowing our lawn. They are taking the money right out of our pocket. Anytime we pay someone else to do something that we are capable of doing ourselves, is doing nothing but making ourselves poorer. Which means less money to enjoy life.

  • Indulgence - An indulgence should be treated as just that - a treat! You can't be running off to the mall because you had a tough week, or buying expensive treats at the most expensive stores. These things will only make you feel good for a short time, then the reality will set in. "The long-term price of indulgence is deprivation."

  • Appearance - I have repeatedly said that trying to "keep u with the Joneses" is downright stupid. If people around you don't like you, because you don't have the latest "cool" thing, then who needs them. You will be better off financially in the long run. It may seem that they are living the "good life" now, but in the long run they will be still be trying to pay it off and you will be ahead.

    For example that by the time your neighbor pays off that plasma screen TV that they paid for with credit, they could have bought 2 (or more). If you are wise with your money and save up and buy yours with cash, you will be able to buy something they don't have, enjoy a longer vacation or even (why would you need to) buy a 2nd plasma screen.

    Simply put, you will only make a finite amount of money in your lifetime, if you give away to much of it in your early and middle years, then you won't have enough during what is suppose to be your golden years.

  • Republicans

    Republicans Wrong on Most Issues, Most of The Time

    Ecclesiastes 3:4

    a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,

    Blog Links



    LifeInsuranceDigg.com

    BlogRoll

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Will New Energy Bill Really Save Us Money?

    by DebtFree4ever.net

    Congress outlaws the 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
    "In this bill, we ban by 2012 the famously inefficient 100-watt incandescent bulb," said Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), who co-sponsored that provision.
    - Chicago Tribune


    With a vote of 314-100 the U. S. gave final approval to the bill that the Senate had approved 86-8, last week.


    Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill would improve the energy efficiency of "almost every significant product and tool and appliance that we use, from light bulbs to light trucks.
    - Chicago Tribune


    But will it really? How many people actually use the 100-watt bulb? In fact, most light fixtures I have seen suggest that no bulbs larger then 60-watts be used.


    Harman's provision would require that by 2020 light bulbs be at least three times more efficient than current ones. It also includes a provision that allows California to set stricter energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs.
    - Chicago Tribune


    On top of that, is it really Congress' business to tell us what type of bulbs we will be using? The goal of Congress is to eventually get rid of the incandescents altogether. Still, I think it should be a personal choice, made through education, much the same way Kansas has approached motorcycle helmet laws. ***In Kansas, the legislature has refused to pass legislation to require helmets. Instead riders are encouraged by education.***

    Back to the bill that Congress approved, they also wrote into the bill a provision to require car makers to increase the minimum mileage to 35 mpg by 2020. Some critics believe that, instead of a savings, that the cars made to meet the new mileage requirements would cost $10,000 to $15,000 more than they do today.

    Will New Energy Bill Really Save Us Money?

    Congress outlaws the 100-watt incandescent light bulb.
    "In this bill, we ban by 2012 the famously inefficient 100-watt incandescent bulb," said Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice), who co-sponsored that provision.
    - Chicago Tribune


    With a vote of 314-100 the U. S. gave final approval to the bill that the Senate had approved 86-8, last week.


    Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the bill would improve the energy efficiency of "almost every significant product and tool and appliance that we use, from light bulbs to light trucks.
    - Chicago Tribune


    But will it really? How many people actually use the 100-watt bulb? In fact, most light fixtures I have seen suggest that no bulbs larger then 60-watts be used.


    Harman's provision would require that by 2020 light bulbs be at least three times more efficient than current ones. It also includes a provision that allows California to set stricter energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs.
    - Chicago Tribune


    On top of that, is it really Congress' business to tell us what type of bulbs we will be using? The goal of Congress is to eventually get rid of the incandescents altogether. Still, I think it should be a personal choice, made through education, much the same way Kansas has approached motorcycle helmet laws. ***In Kansas, the legislature has refused to pass legislation to require helmets. Instead riders are encouraged by education.***

    Back to the bill that Congress approved, they also wrote into the bill a provision to require car makers to increase the minimum mileage to 35 mpg by 2020. Some critics believe that, instead of a savings, that the cars made to meet the new mileage requirements would cost $10,000 to $15,000 more than they do today.


    Fire in Old Executive Office Building

    Photo courtesy of CNN
    With sketchy details the news came over the radio a few minutes ago. A fire has broken out in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House. It is the building that the Vice President has his ceremonial office in. However, he is rarely in that office. Instead, he spends most of his time in his West Wing office.


    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Firefighters battled thick smoke and flames inside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, on Wednesday.

    Smoke could be seen from the White House driveway.

    Video showed firefighters breaking a window and spraying flames with a hose.

    - CNN




    Thick black smoke billowed from windows of the Old Executive Office Building on the White House compound on Wednesday.

    A fire appeared to be centered on the second floor of the building, which houses staff of the White House, National Security Council and other presidential agencies.
    - WJLA, ABC 7


    As horrible as the news of a fire is, maybe this actually is a good thing. Fiscally speaking of course. If the VP rarely uses the office in the Old Executive Office Building, then why do we need it. It seems to me to be a waste of taxpayer money. perhaps, we can tear it down and place any of employees that had worked in the so called Old Executive Office Building in other locations of the White House area. In so doing we could save you and me (as we are the Government) some hard earned money. Seriously, do we really need so many governmental buildings? Does the VP really need 2 offices? One of which is purely ceremonial.

    Isaiah 7:14

    The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and you will call Him Immanuel, God with us

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Thanks Edith

    Thank you Edith for the $2 that she sent me via paypal today.

    Luke 15:4

    Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it?

    Buying 2nd Hand Is A Way Of Life

    In 2006, Frugal For Life wrote a Consumer group doesn't buy notion that new is better:

    In San Francisco nearly 50 teachers, engineers, executives and other professionals in the San Francisco area have made a vow to not buy anything new in 2006 (except food, health and safety items and underwear). Calling themselves the Compact, they have a blog, a Yahoo group and monthly meetings to reaffirm their commitment to the rule, which is to never buy anything new"


    "Compacters can get as much as they want from thrift shops, Craigslist, freecycle.org, eBay and flea markets, as long as the items are secondhand. And
    when they're in doubt, they turn to their fellow Compacters for guidance."

    "We had a little crisis when Matt and Sarah had to replace their shower curtain liner and we said no," said Perry, who lives in Bernal Heights. "But we put the word out and someone found one for them. It's like the Amish -- we help each other out. We raise a barn every week."


    She quotes from an article originally published Here.

    She concludes that it sounds like a good idea, that should be carried out in cities and towns across the country. I have to agree.

    In fact I have been doing this for quite a few years. Though in January(2006), before I started my debt-free, cash only goal, I signed a six year note on a 2004 Malibu Classic. It is the newest thing I have. Would that be today, I would not have done it. Instead I would have found a car under $5,000, though it would probably have a lot more mileage on it, it would be more within my budget. Should I sell this car? If I apply Dave Ramsey's teachings, that would probably be a yes. Will I? Probably not. It's the nicest thing I have ever had.

    My emergency fund is sorely lacking funds at the moment. In the end though, this same fund, will also include enough funds to cover my insurance and check payments. That means instead of $1000 emergency fund, this savings will need to have better then $3000.

    But I am straying from the topic at hand. The point is I don't own anything new, and buying 2nd hand is a way of life.


    Since "the compact" began January 2006 most have continued on through 2007. It seems that it got into their blood. According to a recent post on their blog Rachel writes about having gotten a new used cell phone off Graigslist and now she is in search of finding another new used phone. Folks this really can be done, it may not be as easy, but you also aren't putting yourself in a financial prison to own the newest and biggest thing that your neighbors have.


    One hand full of money

    One hand full of money is stronger than two full of truth

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Psalm 23:2-3

    He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength..

    Warren Buffett's Sisiter Gives A Helping Hand

    I recently heard Warren Buffett was giving away money to those in need. What I found, when I search the news sites online was that it wasn't him, but his sister. The video (from CBS) below, is an interesting watch, as is the the clip of text from Philanthropy News Digest.

    I especially liked MS. Buffett's comment in the article.
    Yet, like her brother, Buffett is extremely frugal, even in her generosity. "We're supposed to empower, but not enable," she said. "It's a fine line, and I think it makes [recipients] more responsible in the end."



    After pledging more than $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last year, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett received boxes full of letters from individuals asking for money, the Wall Street Journal reports. He, in turn, forwarded them to his sister, Doris, whom he knew he could trust to give them a sympathetic hearing.

    Doris Buffett estimates that the Sunshine Lady Foundation she established in Wilmington, North Carolina, has received more than three thousand letters from her brother's office and has awarded at least $1.4 million to more than three hundred people — an average of about $4,800 each. Volunteers assembled from an informal network of friends screen the letters, and part-time assistants verify the writers' claims, requesting tax returns, medical records, and other third-party verification, including notes from attorneys, pastors, or employers. Possible recipients, who never receive enough to solve all their financial needs, must also verify that they receive all the government assistance for which they are eligible.







    The Wall Street Journal also wrote an article entitled The Other Buffett, which was an interesting read.

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Hebrews 4:15, 16

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

    Who Will Replace Kansas AG Now That He Has Resigned?

    Now that Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison (D) has resigned, who will replace him? I have seen and heard several names.

  • Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs is the name most mentioned. Biggs ran against Morrison's predecessor Phil Kiline (R) losing to him in 2002. Biggs also was thought to be a candidate last year, but he refused saying he was happy in his current position. Now, once again his name has surfaced. But would Republicans be comfortable with him? In my opinion I think not. Of course it will be up to Governor Kathleen Sebelius.
  • Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson, has also been mentioned. However, who is he. Maybe that is a good thing, that we don't know him. However, failure to know him, would severely hurt his chances for election in the 2010 elections. Sebelius would want a Democrat that could win in the next election.
  • Lt. Governor Mark Parkinson - Another turn coat Republican. Like Morrison, the Lt. Governor was a Republican up until 2006, when Gov. Sebelius asked him to switch and be her new running mate. What makes him worse then Morrison, is that he is the biggest political whore, that I have ever seen. In 2002, when Sebelius ran for Governor the first time, Parkinson was the Chairman of the Republican Party of Kansas. He called Sebelius a liberal and was very critical of her. Four years later, he was her running mate. However he has had his eye on the Governor's seat for a number of years. I can remember his name be on the list of potential candidates in the 2002 Republican primary. He chose to sit out that year. Conventional wisdom says that he will stay where he is and run for Governor when Sebelius term expires in 2010.
  • Dan Lykins - a Topeka attorney, is considered a personal favorite for Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who appointed Lykins in 2005 to the Kansas Board of Regents. He has been a long time treasure to the Kansas Democratic Party. Lykins has never been elected to public office but ran for the state Senate in 1976, attorney general in 1998, and for Congress against then Congressman Jim Ryun in 2002. In my opinion, Lykins is the one candidate that could keep the office in Democratic hands. For a Democrat, he is a social conservative which would be appealing to even conservative Republicans.

    Only time will tell, who the Governor will appoint, but I will be keeping my ear to the ground as this story continues.





    Related Articles:
    Kansas Attorney General Resigns Amid Scandal

    Kansas Attorney General Weakened by New Sex Allegations






  • Saturday, December 15, 2007

    A Look At My Monthly Utility Bills


    I thought I would take a look at my utilities today. The idea was to see if I really was budgeting enough for these expenses. On the chart below, you can see what I was billed this month and what I routinely budget for each of those lines.

    As you can see, I need to make some adjustments. Some of the bills don't have enough resources budgeted for them. Like the Internet and water bills.

    Extra services and unknown billings on my phone bill have been eliminated, and that should drop considerably next month. Now, the only extra charge on the phone bill is the $2.99 for roadside assistance. That $3 is considerably cheaper then what AAA would charge for the service.

    AccountDecember BillingsBudgeted Monthly
    Gas Bill$70.74$80
    Electric Bill
    $74.67$80
    Water$35$30
    Internet
    $32.10$30
    Trash$46.50/quarterly$15.50
    T-Mobile
    $68$70




    Saving Energy with an Electric Blanket

    Did you know that electric blankets have the potential to be energy savers? Electric blankets will keep you warm while you sleep so that you can reduce your home's thermostat setting.
    A large electric blanket only uses about 1-2 kWh per night. In a whole heating season it might cost around $10 to operate. But for each degree you can set your thermostat back, you can save between 3% and 5% of your heating costs.












    Friday, December 14, 2007

    Luke 2:7

    and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

    Biggest News Story in Kansas?

    Being on vacation this week gave me a lucky break. I was able to attend a press conference of what could be the biggest political news story in Kansas in the past 50 years. The story is reported on my news/opinion blog KevinsView.com.








    Kansas Attorney General Resigns Amid Scandal

    After 5 days of his inter-office affair with Linda Carter being in the news daily, Attorney General Paul Morrison has announced his resignation. Saying he must be accountable for his own mistakes, he realized that the people of the state of Kansas had lost respect and confidence in the office of the Attorney General.


    "Because of my actions in my personal life, many people have stopped believing in me, which is damaging the office, my staff and the state," Morrison said. "Throughout my career, I have always fought for justice as a prosecutor. I've held others accountable for their actions, and now I must be held accountable for my mistakes."
    - Topeka Capital journal


    Claiming his priority was never politics but representing the citizens of Kansas, he was resigning effective Jan. 31, 2008. His reason was to bring public confidence back to the office, and take the public eye off his private life.

    Political reporter Martin Hawver said that he believed that this was the biggest political news story in the past 50-years.

    related article

    Kansas Attorney General Weakened by New Sex Allegations

    Here in Kansas, voters elected a new Attorney General who took office in January. This week, we have learned that he was cheating on his wife with an employee in his former office of Johnson County District Attorney. We also learned that he got a tattoo of his mistress' (and employee) initials in a private area of his body. The question many have been asking, including myself is how did he hide that from his wife.

    This all came to the light of day, when that former employee filed a complaint with the EEOC. The complaint alleges that Attorney General Paul Morrison, a former Republican who turned Democrat at the bequest of Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) to run against former AG Phil Kline (R). Kline is now the current Johnson County District Attorney, who was given authority yesterday by the Johnson County Commission (on a vote of 6-1)to hire an independent investigator to look into the allegations.

    When the story broke Morrison admitted to the affair but denied other allegations of the complaint, but refused to be specific. Today at 3pm, Morrison is to hold a press conference in which he is expected to resign. I plan to be there to bring you this story. Stay tuned.

    My Mid-December Financials

    The current balance is the balance after my payment for December was made. As you can see by the chart below, I am making some real headway on the debts that have been my biggest problems. Thanks in part to the $150 received from advertisers and PayPerPost revenue that I am expecting later this month, I anticipate paying off the last $180 for the Black Gold Insulation installation.

    Each of the December payments listed is to leave my bank today. So some of the current balance figures are estimated. That means I have my two huge utilities to pay with each of my next 2 checks this month.

    AccountOutstanding BalanceMonthly Minimum PaymentPayments This Month
    Providian Credit Card$395$25$200
    Amerifirst Mortgage
    $990$75$35
    FingerHut$1,000$50$10
    Car Loan
    $10,745$400$405
    IRS$3,796$0$0








    Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    Why our country is in trouble:

    Hard to believe, but funny. Why our country is in trouble! A Washington , DC , airport ticket agent offers some examples of why our country is in trouble!

    1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

    2. I got a call from a candidate's staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, and then she interrupted me with, 'I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts.' Without trying to make her look stupid, I calmly explained, 'Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.
    'Her response - click.


    3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando . He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.
    He replied, 'Don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!' (OMG)

    4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife who asked, 'Is it possible to see England from Canada?' I said, 'No.' She said, 'But they look so close on the map.'
    (OMG, again!)

    5. An aide for a cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, 'I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time.' (Aghhhh)

    6 An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 am and got to Chicago at 8:33 am. I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

    7. A New York lawmaker called and asked, 'Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?' I said, 'No, why do you ask?' She replied, 'Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!'
    After putting her on hold for a minute while I looked into it (I was laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno , CA is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

    8. A Senator's aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, 'Would it be cheaper to fly to California, and then take the train to Hawaii?'


    9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked, 'How do I know which plane to get on?' I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, 'I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them.'

    10. A lady Senator called and said, 'I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola , Florida . Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?' I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola , Fl. on a commuter plane. She said, 'Yeah, whatever, smarty!'

    11. A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa. 'Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those.' I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, 'Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!'


    12. A New Mexico Congresswoman called to make reservations, 'I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York .' I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, 'Are you sure that's the name of the town?' 'Yes, what flights do you have?' replied the lady. After some searching, I came back with, 'I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Rhino anywhere' The lady retorted, 'Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!' So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, 'You don't mean Buffalo , do you?'
    The reply? 'Whatever! I knew it was a big animal.'

    Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it's in.

    KMAJ-AM 1440

    I would like to thank the Jim Cates Show on KMAJ 1440-AM for the Free automatic car wash ($6 value) that I won a couple days ago. After all this salt and sand, my car certainly can use it.

    Thanks again.

    Survey - Presidential Race & the Economy

    I recently signed up for dNeero. A website that pays you for taking surveys. They even pay you for posting them on your blog or myspace page, when someone else takes the survey to.

    The first one I took is political in nature. I am an undecided voter, but the race will affect us economically and should be watched. The poll allows you you answer questions based on specific to certain issues and doesn't ask who you would vote for overall. In fact, the two presidential questions asked ended up with two different candidates as my choice. Both are in my top 3 choices. So without further ado, here is the survey for you to take as well.








    The 2nd one I took is about holiday parties:

    Survey - Presidential Race & the Economy

    I recently signed up for dNeero. A website that pays you for taking surveys. They even pay you for posting them on your blog or myspace page, when someone else takes the survey to.

    The first one I took is political in nature. I am an undecided voter, but the race will affect us economically and should be watched. The poll allows you you answer questions based on specific to certain issues and doesn't ask who you would vote for overall. In fact, the two presidential questions asked ended up with two different candidates as my choice. Both are in my top 3 choices. So without further ado, here is the survey for you to take as well.









    The 2nd one I took is about holiday parties: