Slice Of Life

Slice Of Life, is a Weblog (BLOG) that I write, in which I try to tell some sort of story about something, or someone in my life. Sometimes it's happy, sometimes not, sometimes informative, sometimes...... HA, gotcha, did ya think that I was going to say not? Don't know me very well, do ya? :=) I will try to update the BLOG from time to time, whenever I can.

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Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

My personality is outgoing, I use to be a wallflower, until I realized that it was all the outgoing people that were having the most fun. It was a tough conversion, but nobody I know today would even remotely consider me to be a wallflower. Basically, when I was young, my parents taught me that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything. I haven't quite found the "anything" part to be always true, but it has inspired me to always try to do, and be, my best.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

When You're Hot, You're Hot. When You're Not, You're Not.

I had an interesting experience this past Monday, one that I have not had the "pleasure" (cough) to experience in almost 3 decades. I got to take a cold shower.

No, it wasn't because I saw some hot babe somewhere, get you mind out of the gutter, besides, there's only room for my mind down there (hehe). What happened was, I wasn't intending on taking a cold shower, it just worked out that way. There I was, just taking my normal morning shower, prior to trudging... I mean, going off to work, and so I turned on the faucet, and gave it the customary 1 minute for the hot water to travel from the water heater in the garage to the back of the house, then I stepped in.

YEOW!! Cold shower (burrrr), no hot water, at all. Actually, it was more like a "cool" shower, since there's no such thing as getting cold water from a faucet in Arizona in the summertime. Thing is, it was definitely not Hot. I still need to shower though, so there was no choice. Ahhhhh nothing like a cold shower, I haven't had to take one of those, since my USMC Boot Camp days, when my Drill Instructors use to amuse themselves by turning off the hot water in the middle of the platoon shower time. Funny guys huh? At the time, I remember thinking of other names to call them, but I think I'll keep those to myself.

Anyway, afterwards, I went out to the Garage, and discovered a puddle at the base of the electric water heater, and when I opened the panel, I discovered water had leaked out of the tank, into the space where the heaters were, and I smelled burnt electrical. I've smelled that smell quite a few times in my electronics career, and it's never good news. same thing this time.

I was going to leave it for the weekend, but the slowly expanding water puddle didn't make that idea appealing, so I called the plumber, and they sent somebody over. I wasn't expecting a 3 day weekend, however, sitting around waiting for him to arrive wasn't exactly how I planned to spend my Monday. When he got there, it was pretty much what I figured, can't be fixed, need to be replaced. I guess I could have gone the cheap way, and gone to the warehouse store, bought one, got it delivered, do the brazing to swap it out, haul the old one to the dump, be without hot water for several days.... blah blah blah blah blah....

Or, since he had a replacement water heater on the truck (what a coincidence, eh?), I could just have him do it, and be done with it. Guess what I did? If you said, go the cheap way..... buuuuzzzzzz, wrong answer. The old financially impoverished Tom might have gone that route, but the current... "I don't even want to clean my house, so I pay somebody to do it" Tom went with the "do it now and be done with it", route.

Yeah yeah, I know, throw my money away, but you know what? SO WHAT. I didn't bust my ass all these years to become financially independent, so that I would run around counting every little red cent. I did it, so that I wouldn't have to waste my time doing things I don't want to do, when I can pay someone else to do it for me. I'm sure that many others would have gone the "do it yourself" route, and save some money..... Good for them. That's why I'm glad I live in America, where everyone can do what they want, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else.

Besides, in the end, I didn't have to get my hands dirty, and that new water heater really pumps out the hot water. I took and extra long shower on Tuesday morning, and in my opinion, that was worth every penny :-)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Gasoline May Go To $4.00 A Gallon..... YAY!

Did you hear the news? Many experts expect gasoline to average $4.00 per gallon by this summer. Isn't that GREAT? What? You don't like high gas prices? Are you thinking that nobody should like high gas prices? Maybe Tom is crazy to want higher gas prices? Yeah, I'm crazy all right.... Crazy like a fox.

Ya see, way way back when, oh around the year 2000, right after George W. Bush got elected the first time, I was watching this news program on TV. I don't remember which program, or the the exact title, of the story, but it was something like "Oil And The Administration". I don't want to go into heavy detail about the whole thing, but I remember the central theme was, The Bush Administration is up to it's eyeballs in oil.

They said.... "George Bush is a former Oil Man, Dick Cheney is a former Oil Man, The Energy Secretary is a former Oil Man, Condoleza Rich sits on the Board of Directors of Chevron Oil Company" JEEEZ...... So I said to myself, "Gee, I wonder what industry is going to do well under this Administration? Hummmm..... Let me think...... Ummmmmm The Oil Industry, Maybe?

I remember when the commercial came on, I jumped up, and literally RAN over the computer, dumped most of my current holdings in that semiconductor company I owned, and invested thousands.... and thousands..... and thousands..... and thousands (Did I Mention thousands) of dollars in the biggest Oil Company on the planet..... Exxon Mobil Oil Company.

So, just as an FYI, in the year 2000 when I originally bought it, Exxon Mobil (XOM) was selling for about $40.00 per share. Wanna know what it is today? Go Look: $84.00 when I just looked. Pretty sweet huh? More than doubling my money in 7 years. I'd say +100% return on investment is a pretty good showing, since that's a little over +14% per year. Remind me, what are Bank Savings Accounts paying on interest these days? 1% per year? Less?

Of course at the time, I didn't count on ole George W. starting 2 wars in the Middle East. That was just lucky. What? Does that sound callous? Maybe so, but don't blame me, I voted for the other guy..... twice. You people put him in there, and sent him back there again, not me, so if you wanna blame somebody, blame yourself . I'm simply taking advantage of the situation someone else created. And I'm not sorry about raking in all that cash, not one bit. Besides, I served my country as a member of the United States Marine Corps for 6 years. How about you?

Anyway, since ole George W. and Congress for that matter, seems content to continue things as they are, I expect that I will continue to feather my nest egg for at least the rest of this Administration, and let me tell you something else. If ole George W. does what I'm expecting, or John McCain wins, and goes ahead with his "Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran" plan, if you think paying $4.00 per gallon is bad, just wait until you're paying around $10.00 per gallon.

Of course, if that happens, I just might end up becoming a Millionaire. Poor me :-)

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