Thursday, November 29, 2012

How To Ruin The Job Creators

The President-elect ran a campaign determined to mine enthusiasm for raising the top marginal tax rate from 35% to 39%.  The GOP has assured us that such behavior will mean economic Armageddon through the ruination of the people who "create" jobs.  Some sort of magic occurs at 35%.

I do not and no one I know hires a fourth person to do three people's work, that is just stupid.  Everyone I know of that hires people hires someone because three people can't do four people's work, which means that there is that much demand for the product.  If you're going to follow along on this "job creators" theme you're either telling people that rich people having some more money means they will gratuitously hire or that they spend enough money in the market place to drive that kind of demand.  I think we've dealt with the gratuitous hiring part but the demand part is ought to be as easy, 2% of the taxpayers do not buy all that much of anything (well, most yachts).

So what is the real impact?  Let's start with what marginal rate means - anything above an amount.  So, $250,000, after deductions, is taxed at the previous rates and anything above gets hit.  This would mean that of $260,000 after deductions $10,000 would be taxed at 39%.  Follow along, 10,000 x 0.39 is 3,900 and 10,000 x 0.35 is 3500 which is a grand total of another $400.  Holy shit, your taxes on Adjusted Gross Income of $260,000 will go up $400 and with that you will buy... what?  OK, sure we all know this is more about millionaires than than that 250K bunch so here's that number (assuming - ridiculously - that you somehow have $1M in ordinary income) $750,000.  Alrighty, more simple damn math: 750,000 x 0.39 is 292,500 and 750,000 x 0.35 is 262,500 so your 750K costs you $30,000 more.  That will buy one car that these people won't be seen driving or at the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 earning you $1580 at 40 hours for 52 weeks a whole $15,080, just less than two jobs washing the cars they actually would buy.  (no, we're not talking take-home pay)  Why does that millionaire need two additional minimum workers?  Nobody will tell you, they just squeal "job creators."

If people don't have goddam money they don't spend it on products and services.  Those people are called consumers and they produce jobs by consuming.  If 80% of the consumers are competing for 7% of the wealth there isn't going to be a lot of consuming going on out of that share.  What is actually the case is that the "job creators" are destroying jobs by sucking every last cent out of the economy.  It isn't the conservatives' bug-a-boo government that is sucking the life out of the economy, it is their protected class that is doing it.  It is real damn simple - the money is not moving around in the economy.

You can feel free to call it socialism, communism, or "punishing success" to advocate using the one tool the governement has at hand to change economic behavior, taxation, to address this concentration of wealth - but real simply, capitalism can't survive under the current conditions.  Most of the country can do pretty well under capitalism, those who can't can be addressed with an adequate safety-net, but we have today the Reaganism version of capitalism to live with and it ain't working.  Welcome to The Gilded Age aka Robber Baron Era.

People have serious doubts that the President can stick to his 39% rate which will do spit to address the problem and are worried about the safety-net...  Christ on a pogo stick.  Liberals seem to think this recent election did more than stave off absolute disaster.  Can this nation get any stupider about its plutocrat enabling?

The short answer, of course, is - Yes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How To Become A GOP Foreign Policy Leader

If you want to lead a Party on foreign policy there seem to be some pretty specialized qualifications, not easily obtained by just anybody.   You should start out by being an Admiral's son, then you can learn to crash jet airplanes without ratting out your fellow prisoners.  If that seems a bit threadbare and only suited to making you famous, there is actually more.  You need to throw bar-b-ques for reporters and spend lots of time talking to them... about not much of anything, until you get a reputation as a reasonable guy in the face of what you actually propose and vote on.  If you've managed that, run for President with a particularly noxious version of know-nothing Alaskan and lose that rather badly.  Part of the bona-fides for running to have that office should include assertions that the invasion of Iraq will be easy and that we'll be welcomed as liberators and while campaigning singing about bombing Iran or ... well various things as silly as announcing that we're all Georgians now (not the one with Atlanta) or maybe the other Rice, Condi...  If all that worked out pretty good you'd be named Sen. John McPOW McCain.

If you'd like to waste time looking back into foreign policy and security difficulties for this nation you will find McPOW on the wrong and stupidly wrong side (short of torturing our prisoners) in damn near every instance.  I don't mean wrong morally or some such, just plain old factually wrong.

Since the Senator is going to term limit out of the one important committee he sits on it might help if he could get a Watergate type special committee going to sit on, though the Sunday morning talk shows can't seem to get enough of him, now.  It is puzzling how Susan Rice (no, the other Rice) became such a lightning rod other than the obvious - female, black, Pres. Obama...  She's been the UN Ambassador for some time now and they're not pointing at what she did in that job, but repeating the intelligence (loosely applied) agencies' talking points.  I guess it is enough that she has been out in public to make a good coathook for McPOW.  Don't get me started on Lindsey Graham and Kelly (who???) Ayotte - 2012 NH O/R 52/46 might say... publicity is important.  Of course, Lindsey (uh-huh) may be having primary problems.

I don't hold any brief for Susan Rice for any office or appointment, if the President wants her for something I figure he has good reasons and ought to get his way unless there's something outrageously bad lurking.  If there was something, I'm pretty damn sure he'd avoid her like the plague - he knows how to do that.  If this doesn't demolish the credibility of these three, well... this is the US and we're Exceptional(ly stupid).     

Governor Chris Christie Fer Christ's Sake

Gov. Christie is running for re-election to be Governor of New Jersey - that would be Republican Governor of that Blue State of New Jersey.  That would mean that he will have to run for that re-election as a Republican governor of a blue state with policies designed to win in a blue state, a northeastern blue state.  There has been talk about Gov. Christie running in 2016 for the GOP Presidential election.


The GOP Primary voters really didn't like Mitt Romney, you know - the Blue State Republican Governor - but he did manage to money bomb and campaign competence bomb his rivals into extinction after his 180 on being a Republican Blue State Governor - barely (see Santorum).  Consider that damn near anybody breathing polled higher than Mittens for awhile.  The GOP ran a fairly democratic Primary this last time and the results were... disappointing for the GOP.

I'm sure the GOP can manage to jury rig the Primary process to get something closer to their desires but I'm not sure they can tilt the field enough to get the Confederate Party of Republicanism to swallow Christie, even as abrasive as he can be.  Tough talk isn't going to cover the realities of being a blue state governor - especially not in The Old Confederacy (and The New Confederacy).  Well, the Media needs something to talk about...

there's always Jeb BUSH

ahahahahaha, please do that.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Day

Sometimes nice things happen to you, even in Northern Michigan, on Thanksgiving. This picture isn't real good, but I was squatting on the center line of US31 on T-day with my camera phone.

It was almost 70F and the sun was shining and it was behind me when I got to this spot. Today, the next day, at 3:30pm it is 30F, snowing hard - sideways. Yeah well, welcome to N MI. That is looking west onto The Big Lake, aka Lake Michigan, just south of Petoskey, MI where I now live.

It is blowing hard enough to cause the wall mounted bathroom exhaust fan external flappers to clap - that is making my landlady's dog, I'm dog sitting, crazy. He is a Jack Russell so... I hope everybody had as good a T-day as I did.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

To Pay Taxes, Or Not To Pay ...

There is no doubt in my mind that more Americans should be paying Federal Income Taxes.  The operative word in that sentence is "should."  There is a damn good reason why the word isn't "can" without severe economic consequences.  It has everything to do with how the economic pie is carved up and what the reality of Taxes, in general, is in this model of economic dysfunction.

The first thing to address is what those non-Fed paying are paying and one my move out of Oregon has emphasized to me.  Most Americans pay sales tax and depending on the model in operation in a State, just how much the low and middle income pay for their State's operation.  This mess of a tax seems to range from about 5% to 7+% and though what is subject varies, food groceries are mostly out, every day needs are hit along with the more major purchases like vehicles and this hits a much larger share of income for low and lower middle income groups than anybody else.  There is an unholy mix of sales tax along with State income taxes and most of them are pretty damn regressive.

If you take a wage or salary anything up to $110,000 is subject to a tax of about 14% and there is no deduction on that (that rate can easily revert to the 15.3% rate).  You can go ahead and consider Mitt's published rate of about 14% on his millions of income.  Unless you're a church or favored Corporation you pay property tax and whether you own, "own", or rent you're paying these.  There are, of course, all kinds of specific taxes and fees like gas taxes and maybe the most insidious and nasty where tip receiving employees have their minimum wage slashed.

If you look at wages and salary that have been flat or falling versus inflation over the past 30 years you begin to get a sense of the impact of Federal Income Tax.  But that is really only a small part of what is going and talking about a symptom wealth distribution and, yup, taxes.  In 2007 the top 1% had 43% of the financial wealth in the US compared to the lowest 80% at 7% of the wealth.  Take into consideration that conditions have severely worsened since then.  There are structural reasons for this and there are policy and tax reasons for this.  I believe you can make the case that the structural reasons have much more to do with policy and tax policy than world conditions and even if they do not they are huge contributors.

It is frequently asserted that economics is not a zero sum game, as though this somehow mitigates conditions and quite basically ignores that at any given moment economics is exactly a zero sum game.  At any given moment there is exactly so much wealth within the system and how that wealth is distributed has everything to do with whether or not people earn money and spend that money and get taxed on those earnings.  If 80% of the population is competing for 7% of the wealth the system produces  they are going to take small portions and have small portions of a system that supports us all.

I really don't care what economic model one hews to from communism to unfettered libertarian capitalism the simple fact is that wealth is produced and protected by the infrastructure and various agencies.  These systems must be paid for, somehow, money has got to be put into creating and maintaining them.  If not enough people can afford or are willing to pay the piper the thing falls apart.  If you cut the share in wealth of the general population they cannot afford to support those essentials and if you allow the small percentage of the population to refuse the thing is broken.  The reason you have inability and the ability to refuse is all about the share of wealth.  If you concentrate sufficient wealth at the top you give them the ability to keep it that way and refuse responsibility through application of minor amounts of that wealth to the political system.

It has taken decades to get to this point and trying to do something real about it in a sudden manner, even if possible, would have undesirable consequences to the economy.  Forcing wealth back down into the general population will take time even if it is seriously addressed.  The problem is the the will to do it will take an awful lot work and time - the thinking that has led to this mess has been inculcated over decades and become some perverted common sense.  Waiting for politicians is simply foolish, they will react to common sentiment not common sense and worse yet - that sentiment has to overcome the political advantages of wealth.  Yeah, I think most Americans should pay taxes and that involves being able to pay them and that means that the real Takers in the economy have to give up quite a lot.  A hell of a lot which is just chump change in their world.  So don't hold your breath or any stupid like that...

By the way, if you're not in the top 1% or even better 0.1% you're getting hammered by percentage of income paid in taxes compared to them.  Absolutely hammered.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Dealing With The GOP

I've already laughed at the idea of GOP reassessment so one need not fear I'm going to repeat that.  I've listened to two of John Boehner's blatherings now and while I appreciate the cheekiness of offering to compromise all the way to the President's opponent's position on taxes and spending, it is pretty silly to think a bunch of Democrats will get along with it.  A bunch of media is all aflutter with fiscal cliff themes which is a serious over statement of what is going on.  There is not only no damn rush to deal with it, it is strategically stupid to do anything before we topple over... er actually, step down the slope.

Mitch McConnell managed to tell the President that he could go ahead and offer up a Republican House Bill....  Now, admiring the cheekiness of Orange John is a bit different than saying something nice about complete and utter lunatic ramblings by Mitch One Term McConnell.  The House is not "Republican" it has a Republican majority which is a bit of a different thing.  It is quite possible for the Tea Baggers to stay loyal to their idiotology and fringe while other GOPers come out to play.  That of course depends on just how scared the rest of them are of Teabaggery.

The GOP has proved itself willing and adept at taking hostages so being put in the position of step forward or have the edge of the cliff crumble under them whould turn on some lights.  They're perfectly aware of the efficacy of making the choice of going along or facing the absolute wrath of the citizenry and the plutocratic interests.  The plutocrats might not much like paying higher taxes and in another deep recession could probably buy up even more of what's left, but payment to those pissed off peons could be real bad - like pitchforks bad.  Not to mention that some of the wealthy actually do depend on doing actual business, you know, the making of or doing things which you don't do in a crashed economy.

I don't propose that the President and Democrats march into Congress and insult the GOP, as deserving as they are, but that they put them into corners that force reasonableness onto them.  I am, however, real tired of hearing about "middle ground" where the GOPers will meet the President.  The GOP can be dragged or forced into meeting the Democrats on their side of the divide, otherwise all the talk about not just being red/blue but the United States will simply end in RED.  The real trick will be to get the media past the wishful thinking of magical Bipartisanship.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Why The GOP Lost, So They Say

A couple things about GOP loss excusing were pretty obvious years ago and so were included today to nobody's surprise featuring the oldie goldie:

Conservatism cannot fail, only be failed...
ie: Mitt sucked at being conservative

But for real gold you had to mine fine minds like Hannity and O'Reilly,  Bill O' started his evening off with a mantra I later learned is the new GOP talking point - the election was bought by O'Bama (heh, couldn't resist) from the over 50% that want their gubbmint free stuff.  This was the center piece of his little peroration that went from the opening theme to the pre-commercial announcement of his guests which induced uncontrolled gagging on my part and a quick click to the XBox that was idling for just such an eventuality.  There were some other bits surrounding the lazy no good takers part that I won't credit Bill with since what I remember may be confused with some other GOPer stuff.  He sure didn't like the demographics, St Ronnie hadn't had that problem.

I returned from the fictional XBox endeavors to the alternate reality of Hannity who also opened with a title screen to first commercial sermon, and to my less than great surprise its center piece was the failing of the gubbmint teat sucking Americans to act in a moral way and elect the rMoney guy.  This one also brought in an oblique "more later" reference to the Librul Media efforts on behalf of that not Irish Obama and some extensive going on about the dirty campaign run by "that guy."  The words lying, sliming, and defaming in regard to Mittens' self were in emphatic usage as was the qualifier "the most... in memory"  I'm happy to point out that Hannity has a very short memory and extremely selective attention span.  In Hannity's case I was willing to stick around for the after commercial first guest Ann Coulter, despite what better sense told me.

The first order of business was to get Ann to agree that the moral failings of the teat suckers had to be corrected in order to... hmmm, it gets a bit sticky here... achieve happiness through self-reliance and return the Hannity version of Conservatism to power... or something like that.  Ann's short, "I agree," sentiment seemed to contain a bit of annoyance at having Hannity put words in her mouth while using up her on air time.  Ann managed to sort of apologize for drifting off reservation with her Christie/Romney/we loose jabber earlier on.  She'd thought - well after some fourth grader political analysis - that (do you have any idea how difficult it is to sort of repeat Ann Coulter and be sure you're making any kind of sense in what you're relating?)... anyhow, that incumbents are hard to beat and O'Bama (ooops, wrong show) Obama is popular and so was Christie and, aw geeze, free stuff and lies and rMoney was really a good candidate and Sandy screwed the works and...crap,  the hell with it.

Both BillO and Hannity were pretty much in agreement that there is no problem with GOP right wingery and both seemed to wax philosophical about how America would come running to them to right the insults to Americanism of the O'Bama crowd and seemed to think '14 should do pretty well as a time line and their crowd had best not despair...  ayup, conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.  Oddly enough a day later and they were still holding fire on rMoney although O'Reilly had some fairly harsh criticism of the staff for not making their point strongly enough and surging back after Sandy and he did want Axelrod.

So, what we've got here is that with the help of the compliant liberal media the sinning suckers were bought with cheap trinkets and lies about the fine fellow Mitt who was let down by his shitty staff while being ambushed by a hurricane named Sandy to the point where the non-traditional electorate of loser types would fail the conservatism that would come roaring back to save them when through the ministrations of some undetermined agency they would return to their senses after the Democrat Party failed them and we go bankrupt while being killed by the foreign boogeymen and what did O'Bama know and when did he know it...

Or - in short - most Americans are shitty people who failed a shitty campaign and both failed Conservatism but not to worry, it's coming back... soon.

Really, in a sad sick way they were damn near as funny as the Comedy News guy John Stewart.  Well, there is the part where he is deliberately being funny...  and he's waiting for the laughter when he says really stupid stuff.

Have I mentioned that watching people talk about the GOPers re-assessing and returning to reason leaves me ROTFLMAO?

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Goodbye Mr rMoney - Please...

I would hope, that after 7 years of running to be POTUS, that Mr rMoney will take what I consider to be a very well earned retirement from politics.  For god's sake Mitt, go concentrate on scraping the last cent of value out of companies or even better dancing horses.  I really don't want to hear any more about this guy being the head of the GOP.  It is bad enough that I have to listen to Orange John repeat your Mittens' tax plans as though somebody elected you.  There are car elevators to be ridden, speed boats to be driven, and dogs to be strapped on roofs (no, don't do that one) and I'm sure the LDS can use some of your help and expertise to... something.

I don't want or need any more of your version of political speech which was debased enough prior to your campaign.  I can get your idea of discourse any time I'm willing to insult my intelligence with Rush Limbaugh or half of the House GOP Caucus.  It is quite possible to take a measure of Corporate Spending on your failure and wonder just how many products at what price could have been made or employees hired or (horrors) given raises.  Business bemoans the insurance costs of the employee mandated insurance and yet were the drivers of the demise of a public model and threw even more money away on a corporate raider as though he was experienced at adding value to the economy.

Mitt's failures as a candidate were manifold as were the GOP failures as a campaign machine and resulted in Electoral College disaster and popular vote loss.  But those failures of charisma and machinery were nothing next to nothing compared to the failure of messages.  Racism will work in some House districts and even in a lot of the Confederacy but in the nation at large and most larger states it just flatly sucks - and your scared white vote just isn't big enough any more to do the job.  St Ronnie's demographics are gone (at least partly due to his Amnesty) and America is reaping the "benefits" of the voodoo of Reaganomics.  It is beginning to look as though the results of voter disenfranchisement efforts may be backlash and upped vote enthusiasm from those groups - though hard numbers to back that feeling will be near impossible to garner - and those insulted by those efforts will most likely never support the bastards who did it. 

I expect 2016 to be a replay of of 2012 and even 2008, though probably the racism directed at the actual candidate will be a bit lesser, mostly because I don't see another dark skinned candidate in the wings although female isn't out of the question.  The racism regarding policies Democrats support won't be lessened, probably even heightened since there is so little room to go another direction.  The plutocratic politics will not be touched because while the GOP can't remember history in any accurate manner, they can read checkbooks.

G'bye Mr Mitt, please go much farther away and much quieter than Sen McPOW.  I won't miss you.

A New GOP?

The media seems all a-flutter with the theme of a GOP civil war and how the GOP is going to address the President running the table on the so-called swing states and a pretty clear majority vote.  The first things to look at are the numbers in Congress.  The Senate gains by Democrats were unexpected by most a year ago but it falls far short of stopping filibusters and the House is still... well, I can't think of a polite adjective - Republican.  Then there is the electorate, that infamous 27% number makes up over half of the GOP and if this election cycle didn't make their point of view clear, I'm unsure just how big a hammer it takes to get your attention.

Regarding the Senate elections, the Democrats picked up seats (sort of - considering who some of them are) thanks mostly to the GOP Primary results.  If you think there is a lesson for them in that, I'd like to point you back two years and the results of GOP Primary voting that time and the balance in the Senate.  New Senate rules could have some effect on pure obstructionism, but don't hold your breath on that happening.

At one time the Senate was the much more stable entity and the House the volatile one, thanks to gerrymandering that is no longer true with Senators facing a state wide popular vote threshold that includes sufficient mixes of Party loyalties and other sensibilities to elect something other than lunacy in enough states and the House candidates getting their predetermined mixes.  When people like Bachmann are able to hang on for cycle after cycle you know that something is seriously amiss.  The House GOP lunatic caucus has proven safe and whatever sort of pragmatism John Boehner might like to practice, they'll have no more part of that this time around than they did the last two years and their numbers are not inconsiderable for Boehner.  I don't like Boehner and I think his politics stink but they're less egregious assholery than his colleagues' idiotology but he has essentially no levers to move them with and is scared spitless of them.  Any House GOPer to the left of wingnuttery knows their wing will Primary them into extinction if the break rank.

It may be a fact that if the GOP wants to win statewide and national elections outside the Confederacy and Confederate sympathisers it has to change directions, but that does not mean there is any Primary impetus to do so.  That 27% is not subject to the reasoned discourse that involves something outside their ideology and compromise means doing that and winning those big elections means doing it.  They do not want to win at the cost of betraying that hard core ideology and believe in their hearts that they'll start winning by sticking to it and even going harder in that direction.  Their Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.  While all the long term developements look for the GOP just about like they did for the Confederacy versus the Union that war didn't end before the almost utter destruction of their ability to function, either.  Faith is a peculiar thing and not particularly subject to reality's intrusions.

This also includes the idea of making the GOP something other than the Confederate Party of Republicanism ie: Racism.

All this is a pretty long way of looking at this GOP civil war idea and saying, "Please pick my laughing my ass off self off the floor." 

Monday, November 05, 2012

Getting Here

Truck speed limit is 25 mph and follow distance of 100 feet so it wasn't much of a risk to shoot these pictures through the windows while moving. Yeah, this is a damn big bridge that connects the "UP" with "The Mitten." Despite a lot of Michigan north of here in the the UP, this is referred to as Northern Michigan. They make a lot of maple syrup here and tourism is huge especially if water is involved.

I've got to tell you that a seriously loaded 26' bed U-Haul with a K5 loaded to the gunnels with tools on a trailer behind is quite the show, longer than a lot of semis. Using the words gas mileage in any other respect than connected with horrid doesn't address this mess. There was a vacume gauge on the dash that had green for best mileage and red for 'there's a vast hole in the bottom of your tank', it spent little time out of red and when out of it just barely. One two hundred mile stretch involved the wonders of just short of 5mpg, yeah - that's about 75 cents per mile for gasoline - though I did get around 8mpg other times and even saw 10mpg which would get it down to forty cents a mile. Did I mention 2200 miles and four days?

For all of those wishing me a good trip, no crashes or other disasters. A couple eye widening and jaw dropping moments, though. The horse in the opposite lane just over a hill at 60mph at dusk in MT was a surprise. Drove through several snows, enough to stick to the road in a few places and in the UP I got a real surprise.

Cresting a rather long hill in the UP at 60mph I found the whole show 45 degrees left on the road looking out the passenger window at the center line and I thought, "I can handle this." I cut back into the slide and nothing at all happened until I gassed it. That worked a bit too much and I was 45 degrees right and same thing with nothing happening till I gassed it and yup, right at 45 degrees and I thought, "This really sucks, my stuff will look stupid scattered in the trees." I cut it back as soon as it started coming around and got the vast improvement of 20 degrees right and managed to use the shoulder to get it pointed in the right direction. All that was, uh, disconcerting black ice is... difficult.

Arrived here in a driving rain and the radio talking about flash flood warnings, spent the night in a motel and the next day unloading in... rain. Everything except the dining room table made it in good shape, the table required extensive repair and while not perfect, is pretty good now. The important thing, the Harley, made the trip unscathed. I really like the landlady and the house is quite nice, if a lot smaller than the one I left. Living in the actual country is pretty darn nice and since I sit on a hill I have a view - and wind.

The New View From My Window

A couple weeks ago I made a rather long move - like a 2200 mile move - from Baker City, OR to Petoskey, MI. I'm still trying to fit a three bedroom house with a garage/shop into a one bedroom with storage. Packing, driving, unpacking, and suffering from geo-social shock explains my absence from this blog.

Looking somewhat SW from my sliding window in the living room. Petoskey is over in that general direction, past the hill and on the edge of northern Lake Michigan.  Depending on which side of town you're trying to get to it is about 5 miles.  (Click Pics For Full Size)

Out to the NE is my landlady's house and my '74 K5 Blazer. Previous to the move I sold "the fleet." While I have no use for it, I'll sort of miss the old '50 Chevy COE. I'll much more miss the '62 Chevy II and for driving and gas mileage the '04 SSR is a real loss. I needed money and I needed to not have a huge insurance bill. I've driven the '78 K20 Chevy work truck longer than any other vehicle I've ever had, but I could move one vehicle and a utility bed truck that could get all of 8 mpg and seat three tightly just wasn't in the cards.  The driveway is very light colored because it is sand, if you scrape the ground anywhere around here you get sand and it takes some work to not track it all over the house...

Since you can't go much over 10 miles in any direction with out running into water, lakes, I figured I probably needed something that floated better than the Harley which is parked in the garage past the "hole in the water you throw money into."  This thing is a '94 18' Four Winns with a 5L 215HP Ford V8 and it can scoot - the test drive showed it making 50 mph, which is darn fast on the water.  While I was paying for it and doing the paper work the shop winterized it - so I have a large expensive yard decoration that, unlike the Harley, I can't ignore... all damn winter.  Yeah, it's 11AM and 39F and over cast which isn't too bad for the last two weeks - at least it isn't raining or snowing, like it has been.  Baker County is semi-arid - which means a couple less inches precipitation and you've got desert - did I mention shock?

There are a number of reasons why this move happened and not a bit of it had to do with wanting to leave my friends and the country side of Baker City. I shut down the construction contracting business last fall since I couldn't afford to subsidize it any more and this summer my wife and I decided to divorce which meant selling the house since she was moving and neither of us could afford to buy out the other. All that and my mother's age of 85 years and the closest child 3 hours away made it seem that with little employment opportunity it sort of fell on me to get within her neighborhood. Mom's place is about 25 minutes away, close enough that I can help her out whenever she needs it and still far enough that she can - heh - still like me.

It is odd and kind of claustrophobic to ride the country roads and not be able to see anything unless you're topping a hill.  The humidity is sky high compared to Baker City, though most places aren't that dry.  The air does smell clean and 'The Big Lake" is present - in damn near everything.  The snow fall is an issue, the lack of it the last couple years - but I think I'll have to do it to judge exactly what they mean by "lack."  I lived near here for a while 30 years ago and the lake effect snow fall was considerable.

I'll make new friends and get used to the climate.  There are a lot of roads to ride and it is rural (well, crowded compared to Baker County) and I'll have plenty of water to fish and play on.  Large change is never easy and I've not only lived in Baker City for the last 24 and change years but also 22 years in my house there after never living in one place in my adult life for more than a couple years. 

Maybe I'll start putting stuff on this page a bit more regularly.  Anyhow, hi to all my readers.

Oh yeah, I won't suffer political shock of any big degree, this area is as "Red" as OR2 - lots of NObama and Defeat Obama signs, I guess with rMoney it's hard to know what to be for...