Archive for Vacation

The Lie of Home Ownership and other myths of the Supremacy of Modern American Life.

Posted in Apartments, Economy, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2012 by urbannight

One of the hallmarks of the ‘American Dream’ is home ownership. The phrase “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” originally meant life, liberty and the pursuit of property. (Or so we were taught in my college government course)

But I would argue that it is a myth. It isn’t really true.

Lets say you buy a house and over the years you get it paid off early. So now you feel it is truly yours and you no longer have to pay the bank. You have a deed that states that house and bit of dirt it sits on is your personal property. You still have to pay the government to actually have the right to own it. If you don’t, the government can seize it. Even thought you OWN it. It used to be that the local government could seize it to put a road through as well. But that law has changed. Now they can seize it if they want to build a mall there or if they want to put in a country club.

Ultimately, this means you DON’T really own anything. Despite what you paid to get that piece of paper saying you own it. At least you got a tax break on it. Oh wait, no. Romney wants to take that away. So you will no longer get that deductible on your taxes, which is about the only reason, anymore, that they say ‘owning’ is better than renting. 

At least if you rent, Renters insurance is less costly than home owners insurance and if you need something fixed, you just call maintenance and you don’t end up with a repair bill. 

Seems to me, renting is now the way to go.

Basically, home ownership is more like having a feudal estate.  You don’t ‘own’ the land, it is loaned to you by the government for you to manage for them.  And then you send in a portion of what you earn from the land in ‘taxes’ to the king.  Only people don’t usually ‘work’ a lot that a house sits on for income.  So you pay income taxes on the work you DO do and then you pay property taxes from the same work income. 

Wow.   I think those feudal landowners’ probably had it better.  They only paid one tax.  They just had to fight for their lord when war happened.  Oh yeah, we do that too.  Sometimes through volunteer service and sometimes through a draft.  And, sometimes, people who volunteered and served their term of service are not allowed to leave when their time is over.  So maybe they were still better off back then.

At least we have better medical treatment.  Although, for an industrialized, first world nation, we have the worst rates for easily prevented death from asthma.  We also have a strangely high infant mortality rate from other preventable deaths (from conditions that should have been preventable).  This is because medical costs are so high that people don’t go to the doctor for things that don’t look, seem, or sound serious at the moment.  Not like other industrialized countries with nationalized health care and people can go to the doctor for things more often without going into bankruptcy (even thought many people who lose everything because of medical dept actually have health insurance).  So while we have better medical treatment it is too costly for people to access it.  Lets call that a null.  So feudal people are still better off.

The working conditions were not great.  At least we have that better.  Well, if you can find a job.  And if it has a good health package.  And if it has high enough wages.  Even all those added together, we actually work more days a year, have less days off.  So we have better tools and equipment and work conditions but we work more and have less time for ourselves.  I might call that a wash too.

I guess the freedom to live our lives the way we want and no one telling us how to live.  Nope. We don’t even have that.  The GOP is trying to turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights and religious people are trying to tell people who they cannot marry.  Which is a bit a change from the king being able to order certain knights or lords or marry their daughters to other certain knights or lords.  Still, it is one person dictating who can or cannot marry. 

Finally, I’ve found one thing in which we have going better for us than in feudal times.  We live longer.  That’s about it.

Self Motivation

Posted in Food, Life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by urbannight

About this time last year, I stopped working out.  I’ve made attempts to get started again.  I’ve made attempts to change my eating habits. I don’t eat a ton of junk.  But I eat some.  Mostly, I just eat too much.  When I weigh and measure portions, I’m always hungry.  When I make something I really love, I find myself going back to the fridge, a few hours later, and eating the portion I packed up for lunch the next day.  I really need to work out, but it started triggering coughing fits and stuff.  That is part of the reason I stopped working out.   The other was intense foot pain.

Now I’m much worse off and having trouble getting going again.  Now that is an awkward sentence.  I think I will leave it.  It seems appropriate. 

I realize that it has now been a year and I really want to make a change.  My roommate helps me to have things I shouldn’t be having and do things I shouldn’t do.  This is strange because he has lost 20 lbs in the last half year.  I think I found them. 

I know what to do.  I know how to do it.  I just need to force myself.  I need to find my own internal motivation.  It’s horrible to admit that I haven’t scheduled a vacation to go home to see my family because I don’t want to go home 20 lbs heavier than the last time I was out there. 

So I just have to do it.

Portion control.

Reduce some of the treats.

Reduce some of the carbs.

And most importantly:

Start working out again.

Because I hate it the way I am right now.

The Inconsistency of Time

Posted in Work with tags , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by urbannight

This year is 2/3rds through.  It felt like it just started.  I can’t even say that a month feels like a week.  In feels more like 2 or three days.  If time is racing along this fast when I’m 40 I cannot imagine how it will seem when I am 60 or 80. 

On the other hand, today is so very slow that I’m ready to eat my lunch nearly three hours early simply to feel as if some time is passing.  I keep getting up to walk around to office to try and make it go more quickly. 

How can weeks fly by so quickly you that hardly start one and suddenly it’s the start of a new one while individual says can last an eternity?

It can also be the Holiday Effect.  Monday we are closed for Labor Day.  We know that we have a three day weekend coming up if we can only get through this day.  Our brains have mentally taken today off as well.  Even thought we are at work, part of our soul is vacationing already and the split in the mental process is influencing how we perceive the current passage of time.

I want to be with that portion of myself that has already gone off for the long weekend.  Not stuck at a desk with a work load that seems to be taunting me like children on a playground.  Neinner Neinner Neinner! 

I wish I could just stumble across Warehouse 13 or the Nightside.  Reality is such a pain.  If time is going to be fast and slow at the same time rather than follow natural laws then I should be entitled to suffer it an environment more interesting than an insurance office in a midsized conservative city that thinks Husker Football is the ultimate entertainment.