Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An update~~~

Sweet Things,

While waiting for my train I made a couple of magazine and newspaper purchases.

And in reading the November 28, 2011 issue of Time, I came across something that is having me reasses me thoughts on one aspect of my comments.

I will post that reassement later as my thoughts become more fully formed.

Take care, Sweet Things

Happy Thanksgiving~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

I am on my laptop, and am going to be heading towards my family home via the train, where I'm at has Wi Fi and I want to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving.

I will be with my family for the next few days, Joe, Frank and his girl friend Eva, will be having Thanks giving with Lillian and Heather, then Joe has to go on duty, no chance for the "Turkey Snooze" as he calls it.

He's been exhausted with moving the "Occupy Oaklanders" from hither to yon, and he's discovered that many of these so called protesters are long time homeless people who refuse to go to shelters, get help or anything, a waste of resources and energy he says. But it seems that the cold and the rain is taking the wind out of them for now. He's hoping that they will form themselves into a more legal positive advocate group to help people who are out of work, losing their homes etc. and give them legal assistance instead of protest demonstrations which only attract the violent elements.

But it's the city of Oakland and it's tax payers who are the losers, businesses have lost business, some have refused to settle here which is a loss of job opportunities, according to some of my sources if "Occupy Oakland" did not do their demonstrations, nearly 1,000 jobs were going to come to Oakland, but are now lost and over $2 million in taxpayers money has been wasted on "Occupy Oakland", money that could have been put to better use.

The general consensus at my office is that the "Occupy" groups have not done much good, true they have pointed out what is wrong with the government and Wall Street but they are not doing it where it needs to be done---Washington D.C. and right on Wall Street in front of the Stock Exchange---but then who wants to freeze in the snow.

I can understand why college students are protesting the increase in tuition's, considering that the State Government is cutting off funds, but when I was going to college I worked, went to school shared a room with 4 other girls, sometimes went with out food, wore clothing from thrift shops, used free clinics for health care, and just scrambled to exist.

They say that education is a "right"---I'd have to agree but---and here is where I know some people may disagree with me, which is alright---because it's only my opinion. So here is where I disagree---all children have a right to education from kindergarten through the 12 grade or High School, which is paid for though the taxes as paid by the citizens of the city, county, state, country----and that will give one the basic skills as needed to get most basic jobs.

But if when one is in High school or even younger, one decides on what vocation or career choice you wish to "train" for then that is on your own coin, you want to be a Doctor, Lawyer, financier, you pay for it when you go to College and other qualified learning institutions. You want to be a carpenter, plumber, electrician, mechanic you pay for it going to vocational school and becoming qualified for it and then apprentice yourself on the job to learn more.

You want to become a first class chief---you pay for it, you want to become a legal secretary or para-legal you pay for it.

You pay to learn these skills and then you work to improve upon it and become masters of your craft, learning from the masters to pass that craft on. And it is hard! Very hard.

One time I was walking back to my shared room from work (to save on bus fare) I had to sit down on a front stoop, because my feet were aching and I knew I still had 12 long blocks to go, there was an elderly African-American gentleman sitting at the top of the stoop and he said I could sit to rest my feet.

We talked as the blood got back to my toes, about life, school, education and he said to me, with a pardon for using inappropriate language "Gas, Grass or Ass, nobody, but nobody gets a free ride, we've all gotta work fo' it Missy, we's all gotta work fo' it. And when we works fo' it, it's all the sweeter." He reminded me of the Aesop's fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant and said "That Aesop feller, he talks about life and how stupid and greedy and lazy people's can be and doin' it on the backs of us Ants, not right ya know, and then when their candy is takin' away they's cry about it, well don't cry I's says, go and works for it"

I walked many a time down that street while I was working and going to school, he'd call me Missy and I called him Mister, I never did learn his name, he never asked for mine, but there was many a time I'd rest on that stoop when he was there and we'd talk.

When I got my degree I walked to that stoop in the hopes of seeing him there but he wasn't so I rang the front door and his daughter came to the door. I told her about our talks and I wanted to let him know I graduated and was going to get my first job. The lady sadly smiled at me and said that they took him to the hospital the other day, he had a heart attack and died.

She asked me for my name and I said "He always called me Missy and I always called him Mister" she looked at me sort of strangely and said "He started sitting on the front stairs and kept saying he was waiting for Missy, then he'd come in after a time and said he and Missy had a nice talk. My husband and I thought that he was dreaming, because Missy was my younger sister's name and she died some years ago."

The lady told me that Missy had a lot of talent and potential but wasted it when she got involved with drugs and died from an overdose, they thought he was dreaming when he'd started talking about his talks he had with Missy but never discouraged him because he'd seem happy and the day before his Heart Attack he said he knew Missy would get her diploma and do good. She was stunned to learn I was the "Missy" he was talking about. And her sister always called their Dad "Mister".

We fell crying into each others arms, she thanked me for making her Dad happy and I thanked her for all the wisdom her Dad gave me.

Now when someone comes along and I know they are working hard and "paying their dues" to get that job or position and I know they would be good at it, I help them, because they are the Ants who work and strive.

And every Thanksgiving I say a prayer and give Thanks to having meet "Mister".

Happy Thanksgiving Sweet Things! Kisses

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Quote to think on~~~

Sweet Things, I came across this quote and it describes how I feel about the print media:

"A newspaper is tactile, engages all of the sences, and leads to more immersive reading than what people might do on line." ---- Arun Gupta


Sunday, November 13, 2011

A slight disappointment~~

I am sorry to report Sweet Things, but no "Ghost and Mr. Chicken" last night.

Instead they ran "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman", but all was not lost, we enjoyed that as well. But Lillian Tvoid "The Indestructible Man" that was running on another station. "Saving it for an opener next week" she said.

I love it! Joe put in a long, cold shift and just came home, I made him take a hot shower to warm him up. He did not tell me what was happening on the "Occupy Oakland" situation, which is just as well, I can always find out on the news.

To my Sweet Fram, I think I will rent that movie you suggested, just to see the country, and that is so very interesting about your gun purchase---I am jealous! I need to go to a gun show.

On the television idea, when Baby Sis and Ted told me about that I ran it by Joe and even he liked the idea. So we too are going to be watching for an old cabinet, that would work. Joe said he needs a few hobbies to get his mind off of things. On his car restoration, that is going a bit slow, finding the right parts, having the time to do it. But in the end it's all worth it.

In my home I have a lot of old-fashioned things, I think it was because I'd always been searching for my "imagined" idea of a family home, and also I always felt that there was a sort of old-fashioned homey style to it. It was my reaction to what I felt I had been missing from my childhood. Now it seems to be coming full circle.

The sun is out right now, and I am going to take a walk down towards the beach, Heather is working on a paper, and Lillian said she'd join me for brunch at one of our favorite cafe's she'll pick me up from my walk once I call her by cell phone.

Joe has gone to bed, and I can hear his snores rattling the rafters, that only happens when he's very exhausted.

By the way Sweet Things, I still have not bought a car yet, I rented one for the Trip to Disneyland last month, and it was a good thing it was a good size Dodge van, Baby sis and I stopped at a number of shops on the way down and back. Had quite a few finds.

So I hope before Thanksgiving I'll be the proud owner of a new car. But I make no promises.

Kisses, Sweet Things

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Comfort things~~~

Hello again Sweet Things,

I can relax briefly, Lillian and Heather have invited me over for dinner, Chinese from our favorite restaurant, followed by fresh baked pumpkin spice bread and pumpkin spice tea. Lillian is on a pumpkin spice kick and frankly, Sweet Things I love the smell, it's so homey and old fashion.

It conjures up the image of great Grandma's kitchen warmed by an old fashion wood burning stove, with good things baking in the oven, a cat cozily curled up on a kitchen chair, hot chocolate and warm cookies.

And for entertainment later this evening watching a old horror movie host named Svengoolie as he presents Don Knotts in "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken", I am looking forward to something that is so simple and amusing from 40 years ago, another time, another place, another era.

Lillian is also going to have her fireplace burning, she was able to get seasoned apple wood from a friend of hers in the valley that has an apple orchard, every other year some of the trees are so old they no long produce anymore so they must be removed, the soil energized and new apple tree saplings planted, the old wood is our gain, except on no burn days.

I need something like this right now, I miss my family although they are doing well and I'll be going down there for Thanksgiving and I hope for Christmas. Dad has discovered "A Christmas Story" and thinks it is the most hilarious film he has ever seen, not that he ever went to the movies much.

Baby sis and her fiance persuaded Dad to buy a television set, this was very hard but what they did is they found an old television cabinet that had doors on it, in a beautiful cherry wood, it was from a T.V. set that was made in the early 1950's, the set had been removed ages ago and the cabinet was revamped to hold a tape deck. Ted spotted it at a yard sale made an offer and then removed the tape deck--it was broken and not repairable, so Ted cleaned up the insides and brought it to the house.

He and Baby sis explained about the Retro T.V. programs that were now being broadcasted and he told Dad about DVD's. Dad is not too fond of new things, it takes a while to convince him, but once he saw what could be "brought in" he felt more at home with the Retro Stations, all on Antenna no cable or satellite.

Then the DVD player, well said Dad "If it's nothing improper". How could the 6 Thin Man movies be improper said Baby Sis, Dad was convinced. But in keeping with the house, the T.V. was installed into the cabinet with the DVD player underneath, thanks to Ted's handiwork and it is out of sight with the cabinet doors closed.

And Baby Sis found what people use to call Television lamps, these were made to look like vases or a ceramic leopard and with a low wattage bulb they would sit on top of the T.V. giving light to the room, while the room was dimmed to watch T.V. and it sit's on top of one of Mom's crocheted dollies on top of the T.V. cabinet, as sis would say "We finally brought Dad and Mom into the 1950's".

I am amused by those thoughts, such a difference from a few years ago, that my heart feels light in many ways.

Joe is getting ready to report on duty, it will be a cold and chilly night for him and a long one, he looks so tired that I worry he'll come down with a cold, or the flu even if he's had his flu shot. In the few free moments he's had he's been looking for other positions outside of the area, I asked him if this is a good thing to do right now, and he said he felt he better do it soon, because things are getting ugly.

Then he realized how much his decision could affect me and my life that he almost changed his mind but I told him no, he had to do what he felt was best for himself and we'd go from there.

Heather told me that her teacher have made compromises to the students that were affected by their teachers actions (well bringing in a lawyer can be persuasive) and they will complete their studies with excellent grades, but Heather has decided to switch to a psychology major, by having it originally as a minor she was able to complete a number of classes needed she just has to back track on a few, by having art as her minor she's already completed much of that area. She's been looking into a few scholarships and it appears she qualifies for several. So she will finish this term and using the school break will flip her direction, she's already started the paper work for that.

Once she made up her mind I could see how focused and yet relaxed she became, she said to me that she had a feeling that she Will be able to find work with her psychology degree even if she's getting minimum wages just starting out.

Lillian confessed to me that she was worried she may not see Heather settled into a career, especially since Heather's parents had to move out of state for a new position for Heather's Dad and they sold their house, that is another reason why Heather is living with Lillian so she can complete her studies here. After talking it over with Joe to see if he was agreeable, I told Lillian she didn't have to worry, I would be there for Heather to help see her through.

And that was almost another reason why Joe was going to stop his job search but I told him to continue, we'd work things out.

Today I did some chores and shopping, I found myself enjoying the chill in the air, after yesterdays rain, the changing of the leaves, the feel of Autumn turning towards winter, the wateriest of the Sunlight, the freshness of the slight breeze. And for a brief moment I felt that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were off again on an adventure. I think tomorrow evening I'll get out my volume of Sherlock Holmes stories and follow this particular detective through the fog shrouded streets of London as "the game is afoot".

Until Later, Kisses Sweet Things.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Headaches, aspirin and ramblings~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Right now I'm taking a little breather at my desk, and planning an escape, no 3 day weekend for me.

With Greece, Italy and the other overseas countries having their own form of fall-out, I've been putting in long hours.

So has Joe, this latest insident with Occupy Oakland now has the police union demanding that the "tent city" be removed. I know of one business that has decided to close up shop, and that is a tiny tip of the iceburg of the possible finaincal crisis Oakland is facing. The Occupy Oakland movement has cost 500 new jobs because 3 bussiness that were planning to move into Oakland, make Oakland their headquaters have now changed their minds and 2 others are going to move out.

So what has the movement done? Even my assistant says "Nothing". To ramble abit and say "Hecuba--but what is Hecuba to he and he to Hecuba that he should go on so?"--Hamlet.

For a while I and my assistant have been taking BART home she goes to a different station and her grandparents pick her up, but there have been times when the Ferry has been best and her family has been kind enough to give me a lift home. All because Occupy Oakland has now lost their focus.

That doesn't mean I'm against the message, I'm not. But the message has been lost because of 1960's tactics, hi-jacked by outside elements and no balance between.

I have always been a cautious person especially when it comes to investing, fiances and purchases. But there has always been people who have unattainable dreams. Think of Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz" after all her adventures in a magical land, she learned that the simple things were the most important.

Dear Sweet Fram says I should look into Gold and Guns, well I would not invest in gold at this time, the return would not be good, but a long time ago I started investing in gold when the rates were very low, and my return has been good, but now I would not except modestly, I feel very cautious on it right now.

On guns? I'm thinking about a pump shotgun, and lots of shells. Joe didn't know what to get for me as a Christmas present, now he does.

There is one thing that I have not mentioned to all of you Sweet Things, besides my own home and the two pieces of property that I bought (of which one I sold). I have purchased other pieces of property---income property---a couple of 4 plexes and a duplex at the time when the market has gone into a serious slump.

They pay for themselves right now, the profit is modest and I keep the extra funds for repairs; when the market turns around, and it will, then I'll sell them. The hardest part is keeping the rents affordable and still be able to pay taxes, insurances, repairs. I'm lucky all my renters are very responsible people and I have good property managers.

I fell in love with the properties because of their Art Deco style, something that I'm determined to preserve. And I go with local business that can do the job.

BUT---in this entire world there are more people than jobs ---overpopulation---something that in a better frame of mind I would discuss at greater length but my headache is not getting any better. But that is what we are looking at.

Frightening when you think about it.

Now I must go, my assistant is trying to perk me up with "Pumpkin Spice Tea" and two aspirin.

And if I do not make much sense right now----blame it on the long days and nights.

Kisses, Sweet Things

Sunday, November 6, 2011

An Update for 2011 Fall~~~

Hello Sweet Things,

Well some of you and especially you my Dear Sweet Fram, have asked me for any specific updates, and if I've attended any Gun Shows.

On the Gun Show front, I am sorry to say I have not.

Things at work have been very hectic and very crazy on the European front, the stock Market, the economy in general, with all it's crazy fluctuations, that I had a hard time even taking one full day to go to a gun show and I'm feeling very, VERY deprived.

Even when I was on a vacation trip with Baby Sis(yes we did go to Disneyland), I had to use my laptop and the wi-fi service to stay in touch with the office. Fortunately my clients have gone with my suggestions to be conservative and moderate and go for slow growth.

But if I didn't take some time away from things, I think I'd have a nervous breakdown.

Right now I have to be constantly on top of things, so no more trips for a while, I'm staying "close to home" so to speak.

Since most of my clients are older, I've been able to steer them into things that will keep their investments solvent and aid them in their retirement years. My younger one's are more the risk takers, but I constantly tell them, don't invest more than what you can afford to lose.

And the volatility of the European market especially with Greece is a constantly fluid situation.

Joe is exhausted and frustrated with the situation in Oakland the "Occupy Oakland Crazies" as he calls them. Of course the Mayor is making things worse by not being decisive on the situation.

When the violent agitators were smashing things, some of the police force were injured, far more than what the newscasters let on. Joe is very proud of Phil Tamagi for getting out his shotgun to protect his building---More than ever we need to protect our 2nd amendment rights against Anarchists whose only intention is Chaos and destruction.

And the "Occupy Oakland" group is not helping either, when anyone from City Hall asks the alleged spokespersons for "Occupy Oakland" what do they want? No one has an answer, no one is coming forth with demands or ideas.

With that I would tend to view this situation as non-productive, it is just a rant to let out frustrations about the jobless market and I have agree that the bailouts that were done on the banks because of the untenable mortgage situation and loans at inflated values is the result of basic "Greed", but also greed played upon the greediness of the people.

And I even mean the working person, the desire to have one's own house at any cost, the white picket fence, the two-plus children and the 3 car garage and the cat and the dog. What happens? Everyone suffers including the cat and the dog.

But the worse of it is outsourcing jobs over seas, again greed, and the demand for cheap goods, everyone wants the huge screen T.V.'s their Ipods, cell phones with ridiculous apps.

We need to be a nation of builders again, we need to stop outsourcing work, we need to bring the jobs back and we need to be realistic about the cost of goods. Stop being a throw-away nation, we did it to ourselves.

We do need to look at the tax code but I know too many people who rely on their tax refund to help with paying their property taxes, so some of those tax breaks do need to be kept, a flat tax is totally inequitable it will put more burden on the poor. And some of those tax proposals expounded by some of the Republican candidates will put a double tax on the purchasing of goods, so that one will be paying a state tax and a federal tax; for example if one pays a 10% state tax on goods, there will be another 10% federal sales tax on top of that so you'd be paying 20% on a product.

Lillian has been saying to me "better to vote back in the Devil you Know, than the Devil you don't know." I'm inclined to think that way too.

But I'm keeping my decisions fluid, and I have to admit I'm over simplifying an extremely complicated problem. But frankly where would I start? I'd start by bringing the jobs back to the United States and making the corporations be penalized for outsourcing. But in doing so, it would wake up the people to the value of goods and it most likely make them slow down in wasteful spending.

I would seek to give tax breaks and incentives to small businesses, and mandate to all financial institutions to stop the foreclosures and work with homeowners to create affordable mortgages to keep them in their homes, investors will not get the returns they'd like to have but they will get something.

And the people will need to be re-educated into how to live more wisely. I'd also look at why other countries have a better health programs than we do, a better education system than we do and seek to implement them.

But the people, the investors, the "banks", and Corporations all need to be aware that they cannot have their cake and be able to eat it too.

I do not see this improving over a short period of time, this is going to take at least a decade to turn it around and show signs of improvement.

What what also has me concerned is new sources of power and I mean electric, gas etc. and also new ways to get fresh water, we need it for food, we need it for our health, we cannot waste it and we are. We need to look at making the earth well again to create an environment that will generate water sources, instead of dust bowls.

Alright Sweet Things---I've done my rant. I don't have answers and I maybe viewing things wrongly, but we as a nation need to start somewhere. The attitude of the liberal love generation is not working, we need the "can-do" attitude of the greatest generation when we were facing WWII.

And Mayor Quan's 1970's attitude and flip-flopping is not working. But neither is "Occupy Oakland" they are not giving answers or demands, they have created another "Hooverville", and many of the destructive ones are not from Oakland, but from out of the city and out of state, some are professional agitators.

O.K. you want to work, then start sweeping streets, pick up garbage, recycling, painting over graffiti walls, cementing broken sidewalks, cleaning sewers and toilets, take old, dilapidated buildings and rejuvenate them to make them habitual and usable; you'll be doing it for minimum wages but it's a start. See about going to school and learning a trade, not everyone can be a doctor, lawyer, or a glib politician, we need people who are mechanics, plumbers, electricians, craftsmen. And it will show you're willing to work, and not just demanding a handout.

Joe is sleeping right now, he is exhausted, much of the police resources are going to monitoring the "Occupy Oakland" group, he has his 25 in. He's been so frustrated by what the Mayor has done and not done, by not working with the former police chief and the programs he wanted to implement and she is not being supportive with her current one. He's started looking at other places to work, it will mean his leaving the Bay Area, it may mean my leaving the Bay Area, but we shall see.

Frankly Joe said that maybe De LaFuentes or Perata would have been the better Mayors for this troubled city and that the voting process for Oakland is more harmful than good. That is should be overhauled so that the better candidate with the highest votes win.

Heather is here right now, she is just so frustrated with Occupy Oakland, she had to have Lillian drive her to college by avoiding all the downtown marches and vandalism, she couldn't take the buses because of all the disruption.

And she's mad at some of her teachers who instead of teaching classes have joined the protests, thereby costing her a chance to complete her degree, she's has gotten some of the other students together and have informed those teachers that if they do not hold extra classes to help them that they will sue them and they have a lawyer who is very good and will do it "pro bono" (well I did tell him I would pay for some of his expenses).

She told me that she doesn't care if she's a "starving artist" she will find and get a job, she doesn't need the 2 and a half story house, white picket fence, 2 and a half kids, 3 car garage, a BMW and a cat and a dog (although she is a sucker for soft brown eyes and flippy-doddle ears), and she can buy a gently used, pre-owned car. She will not give up.

Heather said to me "Those people are cowards, they don't have the guts and determination to get out there, there are ways to avoid living in one's car, they just didn't look, they didn't accept the fact that sometimes you have to give up something to gain something more important, many of them fought to keep an overly expensive home, instead of reassessing their situation and being realists."

I like her attitude, she may not have it all right about things, even I'm not sure I have it right either, but in looking at her I saw a determined "Scarlet O'Hara" who was so down, that she grabbed a rotted carrot to eat and threw up and from that moment own she swore she would never be hungry again.

We all need to be that way.

As for me? I have clients who trust me and I have to protect them. I have a man that I love, sleeping in my bedroom, exhausted, that I need to be supportive of. I have a college student and a dear sweet and feisty old lady who need a sounding board and a friend. I have a family and friends who are doing their own best in difficult times, to love and cheer on. And from all of them I receive their love and friendship that energizes me to keep going.

Until later, Kisses Sweet Things