Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Porch Project

Now that the weather-gods have decided that we may have 72 hours in a row without rain, we decided it was time to do my mom and dad's porch. We scrubbed it all down with deck cleaner, let it dry for 24 hours, then started slapping on the stain.

Started with the outside edge.

Edge and steps all done; time to start really putting down some stain.

Lunch break.

Missed it by THAT much. We had to open a full gallon of stain to do this little bit.

The more-or-less finished product. I'm over on the left still trying to pry the plastic ring off the new can of stain. I'd forgotten what a royal pain those things are.
That took up Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I decided to pressure-wash the patio up around the porch before cleaning and staining the deck. That way, the first thing my parents do when they get here won't be to blow black gunk all over the freshly finished deck.

I'm still kicking out the occasional security gig. This Sunday I get to work the local America's Got Talent thingy down at the convention center. It will be one of the longer jobs I've done so far: 6am til 8pm. Feet will be aching by the end of that shift for sure. Debbie is still cranking out cruises, but she's hitting her annual slow season. She's still getting enough cabins sold to bonus, but not by much. I'll need to try to pick up more security work during November to make up the difference. Initially, her bonus money was just extra, but thanks to the rent going up 5% every year for no other reason than the bastards who own this place want to, Debbie's bonuses are no longer... well... bonuses.

Speaking of money, I haven't written much about the economy lately. But recently, I'm starting to get the same queasy feeling I had back in late 2008. That didn't turn out well for a lot of people, including us. This time around, it may be worse given that most of us schlubs are still digging ourselves out of the manure pile. Normally I just keep those sort of feelings to myself, but it looks like other people are coming out of the woodwork that make me look like an optimist:

The bear market is here, and a 30% decline is highly probable. So be defensive, raise your awareness, and get help from professionals who survived and thrived in the previous three crashes. Those who ignore history are doomed to experience the worst.

That'll hurt, especially given all the retirees that were forced into the stock market after the Fed cut real interest rates down to negative territory. But given the nose-bleed level the stock market is at currently, even a 30% drop is hardly Armageddon. Of course, last time around, it was the bursting of a nice big real estate bubble that turned a normal economic event into The Great Recession. So this time, what part of the economy suffers from constant hype from analysts and our government?

-By 2040, production rates from the Bakken Shale and Eagle Ford Shale will be less than a tenth of that projected by the Energy Department.

-The three year average well decline rates for the seven shale oil basins measured for the report range from an astounding 60-percent to 91-percent.

-Four of the seven shale gas basins are already in terminal decline in terms of their well productivity....

-The three year average well decline rates for the seven shale gas basins measured for the report ranges between 74-percent to 82-percent.

And all of it paid for with borrowed money. Yea. Nothing can go wrong there.

And we have some sort of election coming up. The only thing about it I'm looking forward to is an end to the non-stop political ads everywhere. I know I say this every election cycle, but I cannot fathom in what universe there exist people so stupid that their vote would be influenced by the barrage of crap that pours out of our TV to do anything other than stay home on November 4th and declare a pox on all their houses. That's exactly what I'll be doing. I'm done. Throwing in the towel. The pricks (and sorry; they're all pricks) will do whatever they want regardless of how anyone votes, so I'll be watching this circus from the sidelines.

Not that voting has any meaning whatsoever in the age of touch-screen voting and the registration of illegal aliens. Sure, there has always been a certain level of shenanigans when it comes to voting in this country, as evidenced by the Chicago ballets still sitting on the bottom of Lake Michigan. But at least with a physical ballot, you have to work at it (hanging chads not withstanding). When everything is a ghost in the machine, a reasonably bright four-year-old can rig an election.

And enough of that. I'm off to do some dishes so we have something clean to eat dinner off of.

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