Sunday, August 24, 2014

A New Grump

 Ok, it has been like, a really long time since I posted a Grump, and I have been through some life changes in that time, some bigger than others.  The biggest change is that I was baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  For those of you who don't know me personally, this is a path I have been on for a number of years, and I finally made the decision to join the church and was baptised July 28th 2014 and confirmed the following day.  Since many LDS beliefs and ideals are very similar to the feelings and beliefs I already have, most people don't really notice much of a difference really.  That is really the only major change, although there have been several other smaller changes (a few, like giving up coffee, brought on by becoming a Mormon), but altogether, one of the results of these changes over the last few months is an attempt at a more positive attitude, or outlook, towards life.  So I am going to start trying to post stuff here in the Grump again.  As I reread my previous posts, there was less that I would change than I really thought there would be.  Actually, for most of them, I think I if I were going to do them over, I would actually just add more to them than I did originally, adding more information and maybe toning the emotional rhetoric down just a bit.  New posts may or may not be frequent, as I am still as absent minded as ever, and now have more going on in my life, with church related activities and such on top of everything else I normally do.  However, not all of my posts here will necessarily be about things that grind my gears.  Some future posts may be slice of life, diary entry type of posts, others may be strictly informational, some maybe more spiritual in nature, and some maybe about news items that instead of making me want to grump, actually give me some glimmer of hope for the future of mankind.  Oh well, I have not been feeling well, so  I will end this here for now.  I will try to post another Grump after work tomorrow.




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VMT - Vehicle Miles Traveled TAX

     You know what?  You gotta love our government.  Have you heard the latest way they intend to try and punish us?  The VMT Tax, or Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax.  They are saying now that it might replace the gasoline tax, but let's be honest here, can someone tell me the last time the government completely eliminated one tax to replace it with another?  I can't think of a single time.  I know when they passed the local school income tax, they said it would replace the school property tax, then after it passed, they left most of the property tax in place, and have since placed more property taxes for the schools on the ballot.  So if you think that the gasoline tax will "disappear" making gas cheaper, I suspect that you may be delusional and in need of medication.  Even if it does go away, that will drop gas prices by what?  19, maybe 20 cents?  That still doesn't drop the price of gas below $3.00 a gallon, so what you pay at the pump will still be outrageous, and you'll have to pay 1.1cents per mile on top of that.  Next we come to the three ways they are looking at collecting this tax.  Way number one (the easiest but also the method most open to fraud) :  Pay at the BMV when you renew your tags.  The estimates I have seen show the average driver would owe between $108.00 and $248.00, just in mileage tax on top of the fees for tags and registration, which in Ohio would push the cost of tags and registration each year from about $50.00 to $150.00 - $300.00.  Jumping Jehosaphat!  I don't know about any of you, but I wouldn't be able to afford that.  There goes my ability to have a decent job.  Method number two:  Pay at the pump.  A special remote reader at the gas pumps would read a gps unit in each car and determine how many miles the vehicle has driven since it was last fueled up and adds the tax to the cost of the fuel.  There are a number of problems with this.  First is that the tech to do this has to be developed, tested, installed, and implemented, at varying levels of expense spread out across vehicle owners, station owners, and the government.  Second is that even minor glitches in this system could create massive difficulties in correctly assessing and collection of the tax.    The third method they are discussing for this tax is requiring a vehicles to have a "blackbox"  type of gps unit to monitor how many miles are driven, and where those miles were driven so that taxes can be accurately assessed, and then distributed to the correct states as well as the federal government.  Of course, if you drive an older model car that doesn't have one of these factory installed, it will be your responsibility to buy one and have it installed.  And the sad fact is, regardless of which method is finally settled on, the odds of the gas tax going away are astronomically small.  Once again, rather than find a way to stop spending more money than they bring in with current revenue, they would rather take yet more money out of the pockets of the already overtaxed!

Vitam Libertatem Honorem

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Ya know what I hate? I hate people who don't discipline their kids.  Or the people who just think if their kids get in trouble they (as parents) shouldn't be held accountable for what their children have done.  I would like to know when we stopped that?  When I was kid, if I destroyed someone's property, or broke the law, my parents were responsible for that.  What has changed?  Why are kids allowed to do pretty much whatever they want, wear whatever they want, behave however they want (without fear of any serious consequences), and then expected to have any respect for authority?  I mean seriously, could we possibly be sending a worse mixed message?  What has happened to discipline?  I really hate when someone says that children should never be afraid of their parents, as an excuse not to discipline their children.  Children shouldn't be afraid of their parents, however, if they aren't afraid of the punishment for breaking the rules, then where is the incentive to respect or follow the rules?  There have to be rules for acceptable behavior, and there has to be consequences, for violating those rules, and those consequences, have to be strong enough that kids want to avoid them.  Fear of consequences is an amazing motivator to follow the rules that society expects children to obey.  I am not certain why this is so freaking difficult for some people to understand.

Vitam Libertatem Honorem

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Know What? I Hate Groundhogs!

Yea I know, it has been a few days.  I have been sick, and busy, and tired ....  Quite frankly I am sick and tired of being so busy all the time.  I may take this down to once or twice a week, I don't know.  I have decided I hate groundhogs!  I mean, I never have liked them much ...  They damage crops, tear up ditches, and can cause a lot of damage if they dig out the foundation for an out building or shed.  But ya know what? The biggest reason I hate them is where the hell is my early Spring?  Both Buckeye Chuck, and Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring this year.  Well, it is now officially Spring, and Central Ohio is expected to continue to have lower than average temperatures, with the chance of any approaching storms becoming snowstorms for another 3 to 6 weeks!  What the heck is this crap?  Last year we had the year with no Winter, now it is like Winter just won't go away!  ARGH!  But that is ok.  No really it is.  This just gives me a reason to try out a new recipe I have been thinking I might like to try .....  Groundhog stew!

Vitam Libertatem Honorem

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Be Prepared! Food Storage

Ya ya, I know it has been a couple days since my last grump.  I suddenly developed a life.  But now things are back to normal for a bit so here is another grump.  Ya, know, there are a lot of things that could really cause some serious hardship for for people.  The increasing political unrest, here in the U.S. and around the world is just one of those potential problems.  There is also the possibility of economic collapse, a drug resistant plague, or any of a number of natural disasters, ranging from a bad storm (last summer large portions of the state of Ohio went without power for a week or more during the triple digit temps and near 80% humidity) all the way up to an asteroid strike.  You may not have noticed, but such events are occurring with greater frequency than ever before.  It seems we can't go more than a couple weeks without reading about an earthquake of 5 or better on the richter scale, not to mention hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, volcanic activity ....  Depending on who you talk to, these could be signs of the end times, or just random occurrences  and it only seems like they are getting worse and more frequent.  But be that as it may, is there any doubt as to the wisdom of being prepared for a situation where you and your family find yourselves without money, without power, without help?  Food storage is only a part of being prepared, but it is a very important part.  Dry goods, canned goods, seeds, hygiene items, all of that sort of thing.  Most prepper sites recommend having anywhere from 3 months up to a years worth of food, plus potential trade goods for bartering, largely depending upon what you personally are preparing for.  For instance, preparing for an earthquake or extended power outage, you would only need a 3 month supply at the most, but if you are preparing for an economic melt down, or an extended period of severe political and social unrest, you would probably want something closer to the year's supply.  It is something to think about.   You don't have to be paranoid or an extremist to be a "Prepper".  I will include a couple links at the bottom here for anyone who is interested in learning a little more about food storage, and Prepping.  I think everyone would do well to be prepared for bad situations...  I have a feeling that thing are only getting worse, and might not get much better for quite some time.  But even if I am wrong, and everything turns around and is all hunky-dory, and full of sunshine and goodness, being prepared certainly can't hurt, and could very easily save you and your family from some very difficult times if something does happen to disrupt things, even for just a few days.

Vitam Libertatem Honorem

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I'm so Tired ....

     I'm tired.  I don't mean the I'm sleepy and go to bed kind of tired either.  I mean the worn out exhausted can't go on kind of tired.  I'm tired of politicians talking about how big the deficit is, and then raising the debt ceiling instead of reducing federal spending.  I'm tired of hearing about how the government needs more revenue, or how the wealthy aren't paying their fair share.  I'm tired of being told how  my rights have to be curtailed to keep me and others safe.  I'm tired of hearing excuses as to why we can't deport the illegal aliens that have invaded our country.  I'm tired of being told what is acceptable speech and what isn't.  I'm tired of being called a racist, because I believe affirmative action is destroying opportunities for young men and women in impoverished inner cities.  I am tired of being told I am a bigot for believing in the traditional family and in the traditional marriage.  I am tired of being told I am waging a war on women because I believe that life begins at conception, and that murder is an unacceptable form of birth control.  I am tired, my friends, of prices skyrocketing fast than my paycheck can keep up.  I am tired of a generation that wears their pants clear down on their hips like they were never taught how to dress themselves.  I am tired of people not having any respect for one another, or for one another's property.  I am tired people blaming society for the fact that their own poor decisions have placed them in poor circumstances.  I am tired of people who think that deserve things they have done nothing to earn, and then live beyond their means to be able to have them, and then cry because they have more debt than they can pay.  I am tired of being told that the government has to solve all our problems for us.  I am tired of hearing from some that the Constitution is an antiquated document that needs to be replaced, or at least updated.  I am tired of being told that since we are living longer than ever before, we should expect to work longer, instead of enjoying a longer retirement.  I am tired.  I don't believe that I am the only one.  I pray that I am not the only one.  We, as a nation, can not continue like this.  Something has to change, and soon, or something else is going to break, and then the darkness will come for us all.  It happened in Rome.  It happened in Germany.  It WILL happen here.  It is only a matter of time.

Vitam Libertatem Honorem

Friday, March 8, 2013

Daylight Savings Time

Here it comes again .....  Daylight Savings Time .... It's just another stupid ritual for the vacuous, that I am sure was basically created just to piss me off.  Jump an hour ahead, lose an hour of sleep, just so all Summer long, you can have the sun still be up for half an hour or more after I have already gone to bed.  Why do we still do this?  Hell it is just getting to the point that it is light enough out when I drive to work in the morning that I can see the damned deer along the road, now it is going to go back to being full dark for the drive for another month or so.  And is it just me, or does it keep starting earlier in the year, and ending later in the year?  So week keep making it longer when what we need to be doing is abolishing it altogether.  Thanks to DST, about the end May, all the way through Early September, I will be laying down to sleep, and the sun will still be in the sky, and kids will be playing in the alley, and dogs will be being walked  and all of this will make noise, which will keep me up, for no good reason.  I suppose, a long long time ago, it may have made sense to some people, but now it is just stupid.  Worse yet is the fact that not all the states use it. And in a few places, part of a state is on it and other parts are not on it .....  What a freaking boondoggle that has to be .....  I can't believe that we, as a society, have to continue to play these silly "Spring forward" and "Fall back" games year after year.  Why not just stay on regular time, all year long?  It will still be light until 8:30 or later all summer, and sun up will be early enough that most people won't have to drive in the dark in the mornings either (during the summer anyhow).  What the hell did I ever do to George Vernon Hudson anyhow????    Ahhhhh well, I will be turning my clock ahead this weekend along with everyone else....

Vitam Libertatem Honorem