Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
I wanted to talk about how we all make mistakes from time to time. We are human, after all, and therefore prone to such things. I know from experience that I certainly am... prone to errors, that is.
Why, just last week I messed up the golf group set up. It's really a simple system; all I had to do was use a spreadsheet and follow a few directions. And I know how to use a spreadsheet and I know the sequence of the files used (Line_up, Group_list, and Results with a Name_list if someone unexpected showed up. The problem came when I messed up the Results file when I imported the Line_up into it I wiped out the embedded formulas for adjusting scores and money. I got so flustered I failed to remember I had a clean Results file on my flash drive. I gave up and finished up at home, making a few people angry because they didn't get their winnings that day. The money isn't much, each player pays in $5 and we pool the money into flights of 4-5 players (we had a total of 29 players in all) who all need similar points. In my defense, I only run things when Joe is out of town so I don't do it often; maybe two times a year.
Anyway, at home (actually, on the drive home) I realized I had that clean copy of the Results file on the flash drive and had no trouble doing the results. In the end, everything worked out fine but it was touch and go for a bit.
I must flush my water heater. Not a big job, just a pain to do. And why is it a pain? Because I must figure a time when we can have the water heater out of commision without upsetting our routine (by "our", of course, I mean Faye's). I was going to shut it off Saturday night, after we got to bed but that meant I had to drain the water heater the first thing in the morning, and assuming I got the job done in 4 hours, that meant Faye would have to put off the Sunday laundry chore until the afternoon.
My motto is "never do anything today that you can put off indefinitely" and so I didn't do it.
Which only means I must face the task in the near future.
Sometimes I wonder how I got here. That is, when I was young, I never thought I would get this old. My father, as I have said before, thought he would die around 65 years of age... as his father and grandfather had. I don't think he knew his grandfather (who likely stayed behind in Belfast when Dad's father emigrated to the U.S.). But my father made it to 84 and I turn 70 next year.. so I have lived longer than I ever thought I would.
When you are young, you don't think about the future much, maybe a few years ahead but not much more. Today, at Faye's urging, I contacted the people who hold my 401K because I will have to start taking a distribution from it. We (meaning Faye) decided I should take it all out and roll it over to a traditional IRA, and because I have some post-tax money in the 401K, into a Roth IRA. Most will go into the traditional IRA, of course.
Looking at it, it doesn't seem like a lot of money. One of my big regrets is not saving more for my retirement but, as I said, when you're young, the future is far away and not very real.
So my advice to those of you in your 20's or 30's is to participate in your company's 401K plan (the companies often match, either whole or in part, whatever you contribute) and also put away (someplace) an amount equal to what you pay into at least Social Security. It's not much but it will add up over the years. Especially if you let it build up and then invest it when it reaches a pre-determined amount. That way you will build a nestegg for when you find you made it to some ripe old age you never thought you'd see.
... about how people vote. Too many of us don't bother to vote at all (even though we still complain about politicians). I see that lack of voting each time there's a general election and the "Get Out The Vote" groups show up on the streets and on the tv talk shows.
But why don't people vote in every election? I try to and, if you vote in a general election, you don't fall off the rolls. I did miss a general election in 1968 but then I didn't much care about the vote. I was 22, in the Navy, and more worried about girls than politicians.
I am told that African-Americans strongly favor the Democrats. Even though they tend to support traditional marriage (1-man & 1-woman), are religious, and are often more conservative (socially) than I am. And even though they haven't received a lot of the benefits the Democrats have promised them. They still have high unemployment, poor education, and still think they are seen as second-class citizens. What has 40+ years of voting Democrat produced?
I am not rich but I tend to vote Republican. I do that because they promise to reduce the size of government, cut taxes and/or simplify them so maybe, based on history, I am like the Democrat-voting African-Americans.
Most people vote on name recognition or popularity. That means they vote for people out of blind loyalty to a name, a party, or as they are told by some organization... like a union.
Maybe we should consider ourselves rebels when we vote. A vote can be an act of defiance... a way of taking potshots at the politicians. Sorry about being a bit slack on posting lately but things were a bit hectic around here last week. We had lots of company; two sons of Franny's, Faye's oldest brother and youngest sister and people calling all day long (or so it seemed). Things are finally settling down again...