This is my second blog.

My first blog chronicled my experiences over three years caring for my dad as he lived through and finally died from Alzheimer's. That is the book that is for sale.

This second blog kind of chronicles of life, what it is like to start your life over in your late 50's. After caretaking, you are damaged, file bankruptcy, and the world doesn't care what you did. After 8 months of unemployment, you wake each day knowing the world doesn't want you. Finally you do find a job, 5 weeks before homelessness, but doing what you did 30 years ago and getting paid what you did 30 years ago. So this is starting over.

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Last night, after getting off work at 8pm, I decided I'd order a pizza from Marco's.  Marco's is about as close as you can get to good south side Chicago pizza out here in Fort Collins; thin crust, lots of sauce and mozzarella cheese, and cut in squares as opposed to the slice.

So I called them up and they are closed down.  Out of business.  Gone.  So I had left over lamb stew and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Today after I left the gym I thought I'd go grab something for lunch and decided to swing by Corner Bakery to grab the best dang potato soup I've ever had.  Strange how much I like good potato soup because I really don't like potatoes; don't eat fries, don't like 'em baked, just not a fan.  But I do love Corner Bakery Potato soup.

So I swung by their store on College Ave and then are closed down.  What the hell?  I knew they didn't do a good evening crowd but it was always busy in the mornings and lunches.

So this afternoon, I did a little research and found a rather terrifying factoid; retail stores are hurting, even WalMart is seeing slumping sales.

David Stockman, the young financial wizard of the Reagan years, who is not so young anymore, wrote a great column on what is happening:


You really should take some time to read the link, it is very eye popping.

There were several things that caught my eye, including the following:

Wall Street investment bank geniuses rated JC Penney a buy from $85 per share in 2007 all the way down to $5 a share in 2013. No more needs to be said about Wall Street “analysis”.

First of all, as a life long JC Penney shopper, I am sadden to see another great store bite the dust very soon, not sure where I'll buy stuff next time I need to buy clothing.  But it's the Wall Street Analyst comment, buy buy buy, as the stock dove dove dove.

If we are to ever fix the american economy, the first thing that needs to go is Wall Street.  I'm not against stocks or bonds.  Nor puts or calls.  I even appreciate good mutual fund companies.  But all the other gimmicks they come up with have led to a lot of our economic decline and when derivatives burst, well there are more derivatives owned by banks and pension funds than there is money in the economy of the planet, which if that doesn't make sense, that is my point.

All publicly traded corporations now are playing this quarterly earnings game where if you are just a penny off per share what some stupid Ivy League analyst predicted you would be at, your stock will tank.  I'd love to see the next time some analyst at XYZ predicts some big earnings per share for ABC company that they miss, if that XYZ company weren't shorting the ABC company and make millions off the missing of the earnings per share.  That is part of the rigged game going on and you can bet payoffs are aplenty in this game.

Secondly, at that link you see the following graph

This is a most telling graph by what it shows and what is not included.  If you look at the top 1% of earners, most are pretty flat in terms of growth except those 1% of the 1% who are seeing great gains in income.  What is missing from this graph?

You and me. See, the bottom 99% would really screw up this graph because are earnings have been going down down down.  Even if you were working all those years, making 5% raises every year, guess what, you'd still have less buying power today than you did 30 years ago.  In other words, if you were making 30k in 1984 and now make 65k in 2014, guess what, you were richer in 1984 in terms of buying power. And that is using the fake inflation numbers out of Washington.  Use the real inflation rate and you'd have to make over 90k today to equal 30k in 1984.

So, how bad is the economy?  This is labor force participation of all adults 18 to 65 years old.  Now remember something important here, we are at the same % as in 1979, but in 1979, the women made up much less of the workforce, the nuclear family was still around and popular.

But pay attention to what has happened since 2009 - I know, blame Bush.  The point is our current holder in office has done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to revert the trend.  Nada.  The economy was crap when he came in and it's just continued down the crapper.

Well, unless you are a 1% type person, but then they ate out at 5 star restaurants last night, they don't order pizza or visit corner bakeries, now do they.

As each retail store closes, more people lose jobs.  As each loses a job, they quit shopping, causing more to close.  As more and more look for work, the wages of labor go down and down, creating and ever increasing spin cycle of doom and gloom for the economy.

And now baby boomers are retiring, spending will drop, many spending retirement money planned for their 70's in their 50's as they lost those jobs they thought were safe so who is going to buy new stuff?  New cars are not really selling anything close to actual production, I can't find the link but read an article a couple of weeks ago that showed photographs of areas stacked with unsold cars, one companies test track area is now a parking lot of unsold new vehicles.

I am glad I found a job, have a job, and doing well at the job, but at some point as more and more people are out of work, when will my job be affected?  When people don't buy new toys or computers every two years but every 5 years, will I have a job?

Other than outright theft, I still cannot figure out how Obama was able to win reelection with so many people out of work, unable to find work, or under employed so badly. Did Romney have the answers?  I don't know, but I sure know that Obama doesn't have a clue how to fix this thing and we've got two more years of going down ahead of us.

Avarice and greed
Are gonna drive you over the endless sea
They will leave you drifting in the shallows
Or drowning in the oceans of history
Traveling the world, you're in search of no good
But I'm sure you'll build your Sodom, like you knew you would
Using all the good people for your galley slaves
As your little boat struggles through the warning waves

But you don't pay
You will pay tomorrow
You're gonna pay tomorrow, yeah
You gonna pay tomorrow

Save me
Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools,
Oh, save me
Save me from tomorrow
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools,

Where's it coming from?
Oh, where's it going to?
It's just a
It's just a ship of fools

Here we go
All aboard

World Party