Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yes we can...spend more money we don't have

Just watched President Obama give his first talk to Congress. Had to laugh when he tried to start his speech before he was introduced. Speaker Pelosi had to flag him down that it was not his turn yet. I guess it is OK for a new president to make inexperienced mistakes in a speech. Unfortunately he is going to make inexperienced mistakes with our government.

I agree with him that we need to cut spending and our deficit. We need to find ways to reel in health care costs and should lead the way in finding alternate energy sources. But I had to laugh when he bragged that his recent 800+ Billion (that billion with a B) spending bill did not have any earmarks in it. But it had more pork than immediate stimulus money.

I like to compare what Obama is doing to what both Regan and W. Bush did when they entered office. All Presidents entered office while the country was in a economy down turn and needed a boost. Regan and Bush cut taxes, giving Americans more money to spend, which gave the economy a boost and brought us out of the recession. It even gave the government more money in tax revenue. But Obama does not want to give Americans more money to spend (Unless you count $26 a month as more money) Instead he spent the money himself on what he wanted to buy. I hope his spending bill does help our economy I really do, but even his administration has admitted that it does not guarantee success and is looking to spend more money.

I hope our country does not takes steps towards socialism. Doing so would punish those who work hard for success and reward those to purposely do less and take more. But I fear that some of the changes Obama, Pelosi and Reid are making are taking us on that path.

Monday, February 23, 2009

And the Oscar goes to . . . Whoever is the most liberal

Watched the Oscars last night. Through most of the show Jen and I would look at each other and ask "What movie is that from?" or "What role did that person play?" We asked that because all of the major movies nominated were movies that nobody has seen. The top grossing movies of all last year are mysteriously absent from the awards show. To me this just further proves how out of touch with reality Hollywood really is. The highest grossing movies from last year were:

1- The Dark Knight

2-Iron Man

3-Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull

However none of the above movies won any major award, unless the main villain in the movie died from a drug problem. So whenever an award was being awarded, I predicted that the person or movie that was most liberal would win and guess what? I was right on all of them.

The last time I watched the Oscars and really enjoyed it was the year that the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won a bunch of stuff. Now when I watch I get Sean Penn telling me I'm full of hate.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tax time again

It's that time of year again. Where we get a much needed distraction from the cold, snowy & grey days of winter by sitting in front of a computer for a few hours trying to see how much money we owe Uncle Sam. I had all but 1 tax form this past weekend and since I was with my parents for a family gathering. I borrowed my day's copy of Turbo Tax and got most of my taxes done.

Looks like we will owe a little bit more to the state and will get some redistributed wealth from the federal government. I cannot see it as anything different. When I pay only $28 in federal taxes for the entire year, but only owe $14 for my entire family, and I still get a refund that is a four figure amount. That certainly means that someone else is paying a large amount of taxes so that the government can then take it and give it to me. Since when was it ethical for the government to take from someone, not use it for government projects, but to give to a poor guy like me. Some see this as the government being Robin Hood. But Robin Hood was a thief, even if he was giving the money to others. Looks like our government also enjoys spending other people's money.

These types of tax returns will not last much longer. The Bush tax cuts will expire in 2010 and with it the generous child tax credits and other tax breaks. By that time, Obama will have to raise taxes to pay for all his bail out, so called stimulus and rescue packages he is passing. They have already passed 2 $800+ Billion dollar spending packages and now Obama is pushing for another $80+ Billion dollar housing rescue. I'm sure he is not done spending our money. So I should not worry about not paying enough taxes. There will be plenty to pay soon enough.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Looking back at warmer and happier times

My last blog is kind of a downer isn't it? Jen asked me to put something happier on. So while I was enjoying my hour long, icy stop and go commute this morning. I found myself thinking about my favorite activity we did on our cruise last year. So I am going to tell you about the time Jen & I went horse back riding in Jamaica.

April of 2008 found Jen & I on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. The ship stopped in Jamaica and we decided to try horse back rinding. I had promised Jen that we would do it at least once in our life. After a very nail biting bus ride to the ranch. (They drive like crazy in Jamaica.) We were given helmets and assigned to horses. Jen got hers first and started riding her horse in a circle to get the feel of horse riding. She took to it very quickly and looked like a natural. I was placed on a male horse, which later would give me some unwanted excitement.

Riding on the horse was not to hard. I had to get used to the rocking motion when the horse moved and learn how to lean forward or back when going up or down hill. My main problem was making sure my horse followed my directions and not try to go his own way, which was always to the nearest plant or grass.

After a few minutes getting used to our horses, we started on our trek. I was behind Jen the whole time and had the camera. So most of the pictures were of her.

We started climbing a hill, which was difficult for a first time rider. You had to lean forward on your horse so that you were almost laying on the horses neck. I did this for most of the ride up until I looked behind me and saw the view. We had a wonderful view of the Caribbean and the island. So I got my camera out and while still leaning forward on my horses neck, I pointed the camera behind me and took a few blind pictures. I think they still came out well.

Our ride took us through some of the beautiful countryside of Jamaica. It has a a lot of vegetation on the island and there was green everywhere. We passed by a few homes, if you could call them homes. They were more like the type of homes that people built during the great depression and called them Hooverville. Anything thing that could be found was used to make the home. You could tell that after a hurricane, these people would lose whatever home they had and just scavage for any material they could find to rebuild it.My guide told me about how poor these people were and encouraged me to donate money to charities that would benefit people like these.

We had guides on their own horses accompanying us on our tour and I was enjoying the friendship of one. The problem was that every time he rode by me, my horse was start bucking or trying to move away on his horse. My guide told me it was because the horse he was riding was a female and mine was a male. And for some reason, my horse was not liking his horse and so would try to move away or buck so that his horse would get away from him. This made me gain a very sudden respect for any rodeo rider who gets on a horse that bucks violently. Mine did not buck as violent but it was enough to make me nervous.

Our tour also took us by some steep declines that we did not have to go directly down, but did have to ride by very closely. Those made me nervous as it is not easy to control a horse who may want to head towards that tasty looking plant by the cliff. But having a powerful horse at your control is also exciting. Once you can control them, they can get you almost anywhere and quickly too. It was fun and I felt like I was in the old west.

When we returned the ranch, we changed into our swim suits and then took our horses out into the bay for a swim. It was wonderful. The water was warm and the horses can swim fast. I would have loved to just ride that horse through the bay all day. But it was over too quickly for me. My guide asked me how it was and I replied that it was wonderful but too short. He told me to wait just a little bit, then he took the last group out, returned and had me and a few others saddle up again. I got to head out into the bay again. Jen stayed on land this time and took some pictures of her very untanned husband enjoying the swim.

This ended our horse riding experience. We loved it very much and will do it again whenever we get the chance. If you have not had the chance to ride a horse, you need to try it at least once in your life.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Very angry

I can't go into details, but I am furious that there are some people out there who feel that they are special enough to demand that the whole world stop spinning and everything is changed so they can have it just the way they want it. Even though doing so will negatively affect many other people, unnecessary spend money and makes me lose faith with leadership.

If you want details, talk to me in person.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Work is spying on me

The Internet is a cool yet spooky thing. They have tools out there that allow you to put in a word(s) and anytime that word(s) pop up on that Internet, you are informed of it and are shown where it is. My work set this so that whenever the name of our company is listed somewhere on the Internet, they are informed of where it is. In my last blog I wrote about the theft of my milk delivery. Because of the notification tool, half of the company then knew about this and was talking to me about it.

I know that when you put things on the Internet, it is available for the world to see. But it kind of freaked me out that my company is watching me and what I say, even outside of work. Same thing happened to me when I blogged about one of my favorite games. The Creator of the game then put a comment on my blog. I guess this was a good reminder that when you blog, the world is reading.

Had a fun weekend. I hooked up my stereo system, took a tour of the new Draper temple, got a haircut for me and my son, had a family birthday party at golden corral, had 3 families stop by for a visit, spoke in priesthood during church, was asked to speak in church next week, started my new calling of disaster preparedness specialist, cooked a full turkey dinner, hosted the Herrera family on Sunday evening and found time to watch that last 7 minutes of the Superbowl.

I need a vacation.