#VanLife · Personal Finance · Self-Improvement

Restoring Goldberg Manor: Part II

Things are coming along smoothly enough. This past week has been a lot of electrical work, plus some other aesthetic improvements. I also have a larger paint job lined up for the next several weeks, one of two major changes planned, the other being Central Air, which will likely be a fall project.

Painting Walls In the Sunroom Plus Electrical Additions

Before:

After:

Two of these installed. You’ll note how the ground is on top, which is the correct way to install them, although the popular style in the U.S. is to invert the receptacle.

New motion activated light:

Scraped and Painted Pump

Before:

After:

This will probably get a second coat, along with the chains and buckets to make it functional.

Culturalism · Federal Government

Of Masks and Men

Perhaps the most amusing aspect to the coronavirus panic has been the complete chaos in messaging around masks, varying from the fiercest concerns to passive indifference, at least until a change occurs. The government refers to it as “science-based evolution,” but we know better. Now masks are being required to enter public places, as if things suddenly shifted in that direction.

What makes it so fascinating is how authorities adapt and weave to escape responsibility. You might recall that I pointed out back on February 11th how a suspicious number of Chinese were being spotted wearing safety masks in public in response to the Rona. The normal reaction was to claim it was due to their experience with SARS, or simply a sense of precaution.

In the United States, our Surgeon General actually made the following tweet on February 29th:

Adams’ rage can be explained by considering the projected supply shortage, yet at the same time American firms were shipping MILLIONS of masks to China to help with their response. Of course it only took about a month for our man Jerome to produce this video:

Oh so now masks are more effective, or per chance he just wanted to demonstrate his mad KonMari skills with cloth origami. Around the same time, the CDC updated their own guidelines in support of wearing masks, I suppose because production might have picked up by that point.

Now that all is well in the world, we can go out, only face masks have become a requirement at most stores, because science. The same science that had no evidence before, but now does, because the government decided it exists. Maybe the next advisory will recommend wearing Trojans over the tongue to prevent ingestion of particles from a TikTok celeb.

Do you still trust science?

Federal Government · investing · Personal Finance

That Kind of Hertz

In an eleventh hour weekend move, the car rental company Hertz filed for bankruptcy, sending its shares for a lovely ride:

“Give you a lift?”

I’m curious what stands to follow, especially as many states continue their draconian frighten in place orders despite the economic bleeding. The travel industry and airlines might raise particular concern, but even some restaurants could hit the chopping block due to their brick and mortar ways. And that’s all excluding oil, which has a lot of livelihoods attached to it throughout various parts of the U.S.

If nothing else, this crisis should inform politicians of how fragile the financial web remains in our country. Sending over thirty million to the welfare rolls in order to save them from the invisible enemy strikes the mind as nanny state idiocracy, which we surely don’t have in America. After all, this is the greatest country on earth.

Right?

#VanLife · Personal Finance · Self-Improvement

Restoring Goldberg Manor: Part I

As many of you know, I have ventured out into the great boomer unknown and purchased a house. My goal with this series of posts is to give a sense of the improvements and changes which the building has (and will) suffer through in the name of preservation and stability. In certain cases I didn’t take a picture before changes occurred, so we’ll have to employ our active imaginations.

New Water Heater Plus Drain Pan:

Floors Sanded and Coated:

Before:

Moi foot

After:

(Note the paint change too, done to enhance lighting)

Culturalism · Relations and Dating

Why Men Seek Love

Yesterday I stumbled across a very touching video by The Enlightened Kiwi, one of the few genuine MGTOW sources out there. As he recounted his experiences of loss and a collapsed marriage, it made me wonder why exactly we as men chase the conception of love with a woman. It is undeniably true that we are acculturated into the mindset from a young age, with true love in matrimony established as a milestone for “normal people” to reach, or otherwise face social distancing from polite society. At the same time, the results are frequently poor, filled by more heartache than sheer pleasure.

Perhaps the answer is that we have no choice. Biologically, psychologically, or socially, the drive for companionship (even if it is often confused with lust) frustrates the most dour skeptics of romance. Men regularly sacrifice their whole dignity for the chance to keep a woman, and even grumpy fellows who swear off marriage can be found softly hoping that an alternative, no matter how imperfect, exists.

Are most of us miserable melancholics, hoping to one day leave the anonymous meetings for good? Very possible is the correct answer. As Anna Snitkina described her interaction with the widowed Fyodor Dostoevsky before their marriage:

“So you think I can marry again?” he asked. “That someone might consent to become my wife? What kind of wife shall I choose then — an intelligent one or a kind one?”
“An intelligent one, of course.”
“Well, no… if I have the choice, I’ll pick a kind one, so that she’ll take pity on me and love me.”
While we were on the theme of marriage, he asked me why I didn’t marry myself. I answered that I had two suitors, both splendid people and that I respected them both very much but did not love them — and that I wanted to marry for love.
“For love, without fail,” he seconded me heartily. “Respect alone isn’t enough for a happy marriage!”

Those bold sections are particularly telling. Granted, Fyodor was struggling financially at this point in his life, but notice the emphasis on his need to be loved. He embodies the eternal struggle of men against a world that expects us to do things right, land on our feet, not show emotion, and be able to absorb the fiercest blows. And if for but a moment we lean on someone else, or admit to the pain stirring inside, the world will pounce like a pack of ravenous wolves.

Maybe that is why we want to be loved.

investing · Personal Finance · Self-Improvement

Are Beggars Beating The System?

When I was younger, I recall watching the Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett. While not always equal to the Basil Rathbone version, it delivered thrills aplenty, bringing to life countless tales by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A particularly poignant example is “The Man With The Twisted Lip,” which focuses on a wealthy but debt-troubled man who mysteriously vanishes, only to be discovered playacting as a beggar to help service his liabilities. It’s possible that the tale was written with assumptions of upper-class snobbery towards the poor, but that should not jettison the social value, particularly in today’s early retirement and money-scrounging culture.

I thought back to the show over the last two weeks, as I handed out cash to several panhandlers between my work shifts. Of course they might well be down on their luck, but what if they aren’t? What if homeless beggars are more like our friend in the show, a clever masquerader seeking to avoid the wages of tax?

From what data is available, a panhandler might draw $100-$300 dollars a day in an American city,  This doesn’t sound especially great, but remember that the funds are tax-free. To put it into perspective, when I worked retail some years ago, an eight-hour shift gave me $80.00 in gross income. After taxes, paying for boomer retirement, and Berniecare, I was sitting closer to sixty-five bucks. From any standpoint, that’s a yuuuge difference.

We should further understand that homeless people have access to soup kitchens and shelters, two helping hands that absorb other daily expenses. Should the person be masquerading of course, they might live with a family member or pay minimalist rent off the books to avoid added scrutiny. Meanwhile, Clarence Goodman has to cough it up for housing, food, gas, and Trojans, all to ensure semi-regular affection from his wow, man.

Now you might say, “Sure, but they don’t get all those great benefits!” As it turns out, that depends. Disabled folks can claim SSDI up to a certain level, and the general homeless population is eligible for Medicaid, with some regional variances. To be sure though, they miss out on subsidizing the retirement of the elderly, which does rather sting.

There are some downsides, to be clear. Any pretender to the homeless throne would have to deal with rough weather, lack of consistent sanitation, low money haul days, and the usual social stigma. In addition, whenever they chose to “clock out” of the streets, their behavior would have to carefully avoid attracting suspicion from the empowered and governmental.

Still, it’s a thought.

Culturalism · Relations and Dating

How a Man Becomes Eclipsed

Some months back I noted how Meghan Markle had brilliantly outperformed in the category of economic dating. She beat the manosphere’s fantastical “wall,” established herself in a secure financial position, and had a child with the doting Prince Harry. More than all that, she has continued to demonstrate her absolute dominance over the second-hand royal, to the point where he practically doesn’t exist.  

The most recent example of such supremacy comes in a report from the Daily Mail:

Hold on a second. Right here we have a fellow who is looks and status-wise in the top five percent worldwide. For years he was on lists of the most eligible bachelors, getting royally (lol) fawned over by millions of different women. And now, like any depressed suburban dad bod, he is forced to give up whole swaths of his identity to maintain the “happy wife.”

Sure, it could just be angry royal gossip, but her previous influence on the man suggests otherwise. The prevailing question would be what further concessions she might manage to extract in his desperate quest to “keep the peace,” and ensure that love spigot is unleashed at least once a month. Maybe a sex-change operation?

Harry should be a lesson to anyone engaged with a serious relationship, male or female. While some bad habits are worth kicking, giving up your whole personality and character simply to please a mate is recipe for the subservient life of an invisible creature. A total eclipse of the heart.