Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Merry New Year!

Well, it's 2013, which means every check we send out for the next several months will have the incorrect year on it. It's also time to clean out the Past Reading list. We missed our goal of collectively reading 100 books every year by a mere 3 books. Still not bad when you consider that this was not only another moving year, but a 2-month-renovation-to-the-new-digs year as well. Still, I feel like a slacker whenever we miss that goal.

Speaking of renovations, we're still plugging away at making this place more livable. We spent most of New Year's Day rearranging the shed, throwing stuff out, moving stuff from the trailer to the shed, etc. We made a bit more room for ourselves and much more room in the shed. The bikes are still outside under bike covers, but I'm not giving up on the idea of them living in the shed along with all the paraphernalia like lights, saddlebags, etc. That would clean out a full shelf in our bedroom. I'm sure it would be quickly filled up again with stuff lurking somewhere hidden, but progress is progress. And we finally unloaded the electric hot water heater that's been sitting unused in the back of the Florida room since early July, although we got less than a third what we paid for it. All I cared about was getting the thing out of my house and out of my life. We're currently short on cash thanks to our $5,000 dental bill, but I still have an entire to-do list that involves nothing but sweat to get done. Those to-do's should be kicked out over the next month or so, but a lot of that depends on....

I'm still hustling for some place to park my carcass for tax season. I'll be spending time today and tomorrow following up on the strongest lead so far. Their process is something like twenty steps long, and these are the last three steps, so I should know something by the end of the week. I have a couple other strong leads here in town, but I can almost guarantee I wouldn't be making near the money I will be if Plan A pans out.

I'm still waiting for the official word on the last-minute "fiscal cliff" deal. From what I've been able to piece together so far is that anyone making less than $50,000 will have slightly less money in their pocket, those making between $50,000 and $400,000 may or may not see a bit more of their gross earnings in 2013, and those making over $400,000 will be paying a great deal more. In theory, of course. I'm sure their tax attorneys are busy looking for tax strategies to nullify any tax increases on their clients. Meanwhile, the real questions, like how one-third of the country working for shrinking wages are supposed to support the other two-thirds in the manner to which they have become accustomed, got another kick down the road.

The New Year is supposed to be a time for predictions and resolutions. I'll start with the easiest: resolutions. We don't have any other than surviving another year without ending up living in a dumpster behind Denny's or murdering the Bitch Who Lives Next Door. (That last one is still up in the air depending on if we can figure out a way to not get caught.)

As far as predictions, I expect America's slow, downward spiral to continue. The Fed will continue to shovel $80 billion a month into the to-big-to-fail (TBTF) banks, barely offsetting the currency that is disappearing from debt deflation. Jon Corzine will continue wandering around free, as will all the rest of the TBTF banksters that in a country with any respect for the rule of law would be cellmates of Bernie Madoff. We will continue to lie about becoming energy independent even as the production of shale oil goes into decline due to rapid depletion and the bursting of the investment bubble around it. Natural gas prices will continue to tick up towards the $8-per-unit needed to pay for production as current shale gas wells continue to go into decline and the burned investors make raising more capital for new ones difficult. The increase in natural gas prices will also cause electricity to become more expensive. (56% of electricity in Florida is generated with natural gas, more than double what is generated with coal and five times what is generated with nuclear.) Our "leaders" in government and finance will continue to insist that what they've been doing for the last five years will solve all our problems if we keep on doing what hasn't worked while we screw our eyes shut, click our heels three times while saying "There's no place like home!"

Merry 2013.

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