Do I Need A Hot Tub Time Machine

Hot Tub Time Machine
                           Hot Tub Time Machine

                           Have you ever contemplated what you would change or relive if given the opportunity to time travel? I remember this hilarious movie called “Hot Tub Time Machine” that gave some middle aged men that exact opportunity. They were allowed to reinvent themselves and take advantage of missed opportunities that took place during their youth. The movie was as far from reality as you could possibly imagine, but still made me contemplate my life and the decisions I made along the way.

     If I had a Hot Tub Time Machine, would I be sitting here typing this blog or would I be flying in a helicopter somewhere. I remember being fascinated with helicopters as a child and wanted to fly a Huey like the ones used during the Vietnam era. Of course I was an underachiever during high school and chose a different path in life before I even realized the consequences of my actions.  That dream went out the window like so many others to follow.

    Life is funny; I hated school as a young adult and was more worried about girls and popularity. If I used a Hot Tub Time Machine and went back in time today, I would choose to be a be a book worm. I realize that no one and nothing really matters other than my education while in high school. I should have listened to my mother who told me that all good things will come in time and stop worrying about the unimportant things like fashion, cars, and etc. But, I went down the road like many others and I wish I could redo my entire high school and college career which came later in life.

     Cryptocurrency has been a hobby/obsession of mine for a few years now and I always tell my wife, “Some guy is driving a Lambo in Miami right now because of Bitcoin.” I actually heard of Bitcoin when its price evaluation was about $300 a coin. I actually played around with attempting to build a mining rig one day and quickly lost interest after spending about 3 hours on a misguided project.

    I did successfully build a mining rig, but this was after Bitcoin had reached all-time highs of $19,000. What if I was given a Hot Tube Time Machine, would I go back to 2013 and reinvent my future? I would be a millionaire right now and my life would be completely different. As I hope you already realize, money does not bring happiness, but it does make things a hell of a lot easier.

   But at what cost would changes come. If I used my own little imaginary Hot Tub Time Machine, how many of my children would have been born. Would I have even met much less married my wife. And yes, I still enjoy her company usually, but have to be happily married and honest to understand that joke. There would be even more severe ramification to changing your past that you probably haven’t even thought of yet.

    What about all the people I have come into contact with over the years? I am sure that changing the past would have changed the future for countless thousands of people, since everyone in the world is removed from each other by only 6 people. This is called Six Degrees of Separation and is worth a quick read. It is a quite interesting theory and makes a lot of since when you think about all the people you have come into contact with during your life.

   There are many decisions that I made in the past that I wish I could change, but those changes would remove some results of those decisions that I quite enjoy. I feel it is essential that one must become a peace with the choices they have made throughout their life and focus on the future only. You cannot recreate the past for good reason, but the future is a completely different story.

    Even right now as I am typing I have done something that will affect my future or others. You and I must realize that the clock is ticking and we must take advantage of the time given to us on this earth. We do not need a Hot Tub Time Machine to make us happy, we just need to make wise decisions today and we will be able to enjoy the results tomorrow.

Do I Need A Hot Tub Time Machine

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Pennsylvania Public Schools Closed 2020

           

Pennsylvania Home Schooling
                          Pennsylvania Home Schooling

                The one thing that the Coronavirus has done is turn my family life upside down and all around. Every traditional routine that we have established is out of the window and will need to be reconstructed from scratch. My children have become bored with not going to school and extraocular activities, which has resorted in a lot of sibling rivalry throughout the house. Even bedtimes aren’t truly established anymore because every day is the weekend with the school year being over. You heard me right, Pennsylvania public schools closed indefinitely and they will hopefully return next September.

                Our school district has fortunately resorted to home schooling utilizing Zoom which I am appreciative of to say the least . They are not concerned with grades, but they are focused on every assignment being completed properly. Good old education plain and simple without any federal government interference with pre-existing programs that are failures. Seems like this year every child is left behind and it is up to the parents to make sure their child is receiving a good education.

                I have been blessed with children that have excelled in school and are in the top percentile of their age group, but I wonder about the kids who need additional assistance. How much will these current events affect their future? I sure do hope the school district has taken this into consideration, but it’s just hard to say what their concerns are these days. It feels like the entire educational system was forced to close this year.

                I do feel bad for the young adults that were in their senior year of high school and college. Some memories cannot be replaced and Covid-19 stole those memories forever. And what about those star athletes that were hoping to be scouted during their senior year for college or professional leagues. Without a doubt, once in a lifetime opportunities have been lost.

                I really can’t complain because my wife and I have chosen to sacrifice materialistic things in life so that she could be a stay at home mom. The decision to close schools has only been an inconvenience for us, while others have been forced to take drastic measures to find childcare. I can only imagine what it would have been like if both of us needed employment just to make ends meet.

                As I stated in a previous blog post, things will never be the same. I truly think people will reevaluate how they choose to live their lives and will not take everything for granted moving into the future. In a weird way, I suspect the United States will be stronger mentally after this pandemic.  Financially is another subject and only time will tell.

Pennsylvania Department of Education

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Pennsylvania Public Schools Closed

The Agonizing Financial Pandemic of 2020

The Financial Pandemic of 2020
                                                 The Financial Pandemic of 2020

          There is no doubt in my mind that life will never be the same for this generation living through the Coronavirus / Covid-19 Pandemic. Life will go on, but the memory and fear of recurrences will remain for a long time to come. Many lives have been lost and irreversible emotional stress has been seared into our unconscious souls. Unfortunately, I believe society is not prepared for what is to come once the Coronavirus pandemic subsides and the financial pandemic of 2020 takes its place.

            I suspect the Federal Government has done all that it can to prop up the economy during the pandemic crisis by using  the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing (QE) measure and issuance of stimulus checks to the population. In addition to these aggressive measures, the Federal Reserve is promising to purchase corporate debt and has removed all limitation on the amount of United States currency to be created. With unemployment steadily rising past 6,000,000 people and the workforce unable to return to work makes the future appear to be quite bleak.

            The decisions made by President Donald Trump and Congress were designed to keep the economy afloat while the financial pandemic of 2020 passes. The damage to the economy will still exist with record unemployment not seen since the Great Depression. The Stimulus Bill was said to be $2 Trillion, but I believe the cost will be way more in the long run. I don’t fault them for these decisions because the other choice would definitely cast the nation and world into a second Great Depression.

            The Federal Reserve Quantitative Easing will surely cause inflation, which will hurt the economy due to the dollars loss of value. The Federal Reserve is currently offering 0.00% to 0.25% interest rates with nowhere left to go other than negative rates. Negative Rates will be free money for whomever has the credit and or collateral to borrow against the Federal Reserve. And with all this doom gloom, I haven’t even gotten into the potential mortgage industry collapse due to the 0% interest rates offered by the Federal Reserve.  Only time will tell if this will come into fruition.

Example of Inflation
                  Scary Example of Inflation

            This may keep banks and big businesses a float, but there is a price to pay. The silent killer is inflation. I believe that inflation will skyrocket once the pandemic is over and millions will be left unemployed with unimaginable inflation concerns. Not only will they be left with no money coming from stable employment, but the money they did manage to save will lose its value right before their eyes.

            While the future does appear to be dim, the pandemic of 2020 will pass and the sun will shine once again.  The sun will shine for those that made the correct financial decisions in the past and in the present. Unfortunately,  majority of  society are still going about their lives without the realization of the dire situation that our financial system is plagued with. 

       If you were living check to check or were overly reliant on credit to survive in the pre Coronavirus economy, you may want to reevaluate your current financial situation. Having a respectable savings account is key when approaching a traditional recession much less depression of epic proportions. Investments in alternative forms of currencies like gold, silver, Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies  will be essential to hedge against the future down turn of the U.S. dollar. Owning stocks may also be helpful, but expect to sell them for a loss if you are not able to wait until an uptrend. 

       No one can predict the future, so no one knows when the Coronavirus pandemic will end and the financial pandemic of 2020 will begin. But one thing is for sure, it’s coming with vengeance for those poor unsuspecting souls.   

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The Financial Pandemic of 2020

 

Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic Has Opened Our Eyes Forever

Coronavirus/Covid 19 Pandemic
Coronavirus/Covid 19 Pandemic

                The Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic has changed all our lives for the worst with no immediate resolution in sight. I have been bombarded with news updates, social media drama, and just typical hysteria surrounding the recent viral outbreak.  The government has instructed the public to quarantine themselves, which has been disregarded by the masses until it affects their personal little space bubble.

                People have forgotten about past pandemics and what toll they had taken on society psychically and economically. The Spanish Flu pandemic gave us a set road map to follow and we as a people continue to make the same exact mistakes that were made 100 years ago. The government knows what needs to be done, but they cannot force the citizens to comply without martial law. Unfortunately, martial law is the exact opposite of our great democracy so the government will only use this measure as a last resort which will resort in more lives being lost to the Coronavirus/Covid-19.

                The economic ramifications have just begun with millions of people unable to work because businesses have been forced to shutter their doors to curve the pandemic around the world. With medical and food shortages potentially looming on the horizon is there anything positive about these events?

                I believe that the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic will require every single person in this world to reassess their lives and behaviors moving forward. Humanity has become too dependent upon technology and mass production to solve the woes of our lives. The Coronavirus has proven that our mentality of immediate gratification does not always come into fruition due to the simple limitations of science and man. Our expectation of the government being able to step in and fix any occurrence immediately does not exist and our comfortable little lives can change overnight.

                The reliance on super grocery store chains and mass produced items has weakened our society almost to the breaking point. We now realize that dependence on foreign manufacturers is to our detriment and the behavior must be curtailed. People will support manufacturers from their country and the governments will be more determined to keep businesses from venturing abroad for cheaper labor.

                With schools being closed with no idea of when they will be given the all clear to reopen their doors, families have been forced to hunker down in their home. Most traditional families in the United States of America require two incomes to keep up with the American Dream lifestyle. This has turned into a nightmare and a blessing for many parents. With young children at home all day, they have been forced to spend an abundance of quality time with their children. This is also a curse because once the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic loses its grip on our society; a monumental recession will set in and bills still need to be paid.             

                So, where does this leave us as a society today? It leaves us with the realization of what if. What if there is no more toilet paper? What if I can’t get meat at a grocery store? What if there is no milk to be found? What if there is a gas shortage? What if the hospitals become overwhelmed? What if there is martial law? And the list goes on endlessly within our imaginations.

                A lot of these what if questions can be answered by yourself along with the necessary preparation for the particular scenario. The word pantry was a thing of the past, but I strongly suspect that it will make a major comeback. We as a society have been reminded that we cannot always expect there to be abundance and we should be prepared. Fortunately, the Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic has opened our eyes before it’s too late.

Here are some reliable links concerning the current Coronavirus/Covid-19 Pandemic:

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

World Health Organization

FEMA/ Department of Homeland Security

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Ghost In The Attic Dream 1/23/2020

       

Ghost In The Attic Dream
Story about a reoccurring dream that haunts me

 

 Have you ever had a reoccurring dream that caused you to ponder the cause with no answers? I have had this experience and I would like to share this reoccurring dream with you today. The ghost in the attic dream has caused me fear and confusion and I still don’t understand why the ghostly figure haunts me. Maybe it’s something I experienced as a child or is it possibly a repressed memory or emotion. Nonetheless, let me welcome you into this terrifying dream that has caused me to wake up in a cold sweat on many different occasions.

  The ghost in the attic dream starts off no different than any other dream. The setting is usually based in a warped reality that is familiar, but somewhat different. The people in the dream vary between present and past relationships. My wife is always in the dreams and is probably the only consistent person other than the unknown ghost. The setting is usually where I currently live, but that’s the only part of the dream that is the same. The house is never the same, but it is always an old derelict house in need of work and has three to four levels.

The dream usually starts with my wife and I being excited about our newly purchased home and our accomplishment. The odd thing is that when we start to explore the property; I start to realize the state of the property and start to feel overwhelmed with stress and worry. As I previously mentioned, the house was derelict and that would be an understatement. The walls have holes in them, windows are broken, holes in the floor, peeling wall paper, and the list goes on. The house looks more like something you would expect from an old western movie or an abandoned farm house leftover from the depression era.
The irony of this is that I am so bad with my hands. I can change a flat tire or perform a basic oil change, but that is about it. Anything to do with carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, or whatever else can go wrong with a house is out of my league. So why would I buy a property in a state of disrepair with plans to renovate it myself when I know I don’t have the ability to do so. This is one of the many unanswered questions from my dreams.
Typically during the ghost in the attic dream all if fine, but I am discontent with the situation and have no readily available solution. We start to evaluate the property and come up with a plan of attack because the problems are numerous and we are about to move in. More often than no we start with the kitchen which is funny because I don’t have a clue what I am doing. My wife and are start patching up holes and fixing pipes with things like duct tape. Weird is an understatement at best.
At some point during the dream we venture upstairs to the second level of the house which is quite the same as the lower level. There are exposed holes in the walls, peeling wall paper, broken windows, and etc. Now this is where the dreams vary, but end up with the same conclusion. Sometimes the house becomes miraculously furnished or sometimes it remains unfurnished. Either the way, we make our way up to the third level. .
       
  The attic is full of dusty boxes and old furniture as you would expect from a house in its condition. Nothing is really different from the rest of the house except for there are no holes in the walls. The attic appears exactly as it should and does not need repair. There is always a small staircase to a fourth level that I choose to walk towards. I go up the stairs and open the door. I see antique dolls and a bunch of old dusty boxes. There are anywhere between 5 -10 dolls just lying about the room as if they were stored away and forgotten about decades ago.
        
  I instantly see dollar bills flash before my eyes because the dolls are antiques and I want to cash in on my newly found fortune. I pick up a doll, and suddenly realize I am not alone. The ghost of a young girl appears and is quite displeased with me for entering her room. She appears before me and is between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. The ghostly figure of a girl is Caucasian with blondish brown hair and dark eyes. She is wearing a white dress that looks more like a nightgown that is very dingy. Her skin texture is dark grey with dark rings under her eyes. Her look is sinister and would make the bravest person skin crawl. Her appearance is fuzzy and almost translucent, but she is clearly standing in front of me staring at me.
During some dreams the ghost in the attic is violent and psychically hurts me by pushing, biting, hitting, or scratching me. Other times she is more content with tormenting me by scaring the hell out of me. She will do thing like suddenly appearing or moving items before my eyes when she is not visible. The one thing that I am sure of is the ghostly girl’s goal is to get me out of her room and for me to leave her belongings alone. Once she appears, I usually exit the room quite quickly as you can imagine.
        
        We never actually leave the property though; we always stay knowing that the young girl’s ghost is upstairs. I usually don’t return to the room, but sometimes I do and end up being tormented around the house. At some point during these reoccurring dreams I usually wake up with a fearful yell and startle my wife sleeping next to me in bed. I then explain to her that it was the ghost dream again and she rubs my back till I fall back to sleep.   
 But lately, things have changed and I find myself bragging about the ghost upstairs in the attic during my dream to family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. The house is still in disrepair, but I don’t seem to care. I am still afraid of the ghost but it has become a novelty to me. For some reason, I actually want to taunt the ghost in the attic and get a rise out of it. Maybe even actually create some type of communication between me and the little girl’s ghost. I usually wake up confused and a little frightened. This is such a stark change from my original dreams. I sometimes wonder what my dreams will morph into in the future.
I tried doing some research on Google concerning the ghost in the attic dreams. Believe it or not, there are a lot of resources on the internet to assist you with analyzing your dreams. According to the websites that I found online, there are unresolved issues in my past and they are haunting me. I sure do wish I knew what they were because I am not a fan of scary movies much less nightmares. Maybe someday I will make peace with my unresolved issues and my reoccurring dreams will end.
Even while writing this story and welcoming you into my subconscious mind, I wonder if the little ghostly girl will visit me tonight and how I will respond. One thing is for sure, she will continue to haunt my dreams until I discover what is hidden behind the closed doors in my past. At some point the cause of these dreams will be exposed, but until then, the little girl and I will continue to play this frightful little game.

Dream Interpretation Website                  

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Ghost In The Attic Dream

Become Your Own Boss

 

Become Your Own Boss
Become Your Own Boss

Become Your Own Boss

            We have all been confronted with a financial obstacle at some point in our lives that we have had to overcome. If you are one of the few lucky ones that have managed to navigate life without debt or concerns, all I can say is  ”God Bless You” and keep it up. For my wife and myself, the early years of our relationship was bliss, but once we decided to get married and have children everything changed.

The American Dream quickly became the typical American Nightmare. We went from a two income household to a single income household with an extra mouth to feed.  Our bills quickly became a concern because we had student loans, a mortgage, car payment, and etc.  The initial plan was for my wife to return to the workforce after three months, but we are on our eleventh year and we are still surviving on a single income. Well, that’s not entirely true. Let me explain.
It all started with a random conversation with a new co-worker over lunch one day. He mentioned that his wife makes $60,000 a year at home reselling vintage items on EBay and at flea markets. I remember thinking that’s crazy, and then conveniently forgot about the conversation until the spring when I stopped at a yard sale.  While looking around, I decided to pull out my cellphone and cross reference some of the items that a senior couple had laid out on the table.
The first thing that I grabbed was an Asian handheld folding fan that was priced at $0.50. I started searching through EBay and found the exact same fan listed and sold for $20.00. I remember thinking that it can’t be this easy. I started riding around to various yard sales and buying items that I thought I could sell for a profit. My wife thought I was crazy, but she did realize that there was potential for additional income and at least I wasn’t just sitting in front of the television as usual.
We started bringing an extra income from reselling primarily vintage items and we decided to take it to the next level. We started attending local auctions and estate sales. Like anything else in life, you need to start small and build your way up. I started with buying box lots and the cheaper items in bulk that no else wanted. I would then go home and sort through a car load of junk that only cost me $20-40.00. The usual hull would bring in roughly about a $200-300.00 profit once the marketable items sold and the rest went to Goodwill. Every time we sorted through the box lots, we would learn something new. We would find an item that we didn’t realize the value of and would gain knowledge for future auctions and estate sales. Before long, we moved on from box lots, and started buying single items ranging from $1-$50 with an expected minimum profit on 3X.
It should be pretty obvious from there we shot to moon. Well, not exactly the moon but $30,000 isn’t too shabby. We expect to hit $60,000 in the next 3 years but we still have a lot to learn. Most of our lessons were learned the hard way and I want to share those lessons with you so that you can avoid the heart ache and struggles that we experienced.

Depending on where you live in the United States, auctions or estate sales may be preferred choice when people downsize. In Pennsylvania, auctions are everywhere. Just use AuctionZip.com and enter in you zip code and I suggest searching the 30 mile radius. When I am in Florida visiting family, I use EstateSale.net.  Auctions and Estates sales are different beast, but they both fall under the same principle. Buy something cheap and sell it for more. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work in a perfect world.

Please remember to double list your items. Create an  EBay store once your sales support the cost and open a free store on  Etsy. When listing your items on either online store front, make sure you weigh your items and list them in accordance with their weight and dimensions. We used to guess the shipping cost and use a flat rate. Huge mistake because to ship from the East Coast to the West Coast is extremely expensive and you will end up losing money. I remember being confused looking for the profit in our PayPal account after shipping 30 plus items.

 If you are selling online, you need a lot of boxes and bubble wrap. Never ever buy bubble wrap from Walmart or Staples. Their prices are ridiculous and borderline immoral. Simply just go on EBay and search for bubble wrap, you will see pliantly of rolls for sale for about $20-25 for 400 ft. Boxes on the other hand is a bit more challenging. We prefer to ask stores for empty shipping boxes, but if there is no other choice, you can also buy these in bulk online.

Once the money starts rolling in and you become your own boss, make sure you pay your taxes. Some states require sales tax to be collected which isn’t too difficult. Any online retailer that you decide to use within the United States will send you a W2 once your sales have past $19,999.00. If you choose not to pay your taxes will they come looking for you? Honestly, I don’t know and don’t want to find out. But just remember, four successful sale years could total up well past $60,000 in back taxes. Just remember, when you become your boss, you must pay taxes.

I hope you have found this information to be helpful on how to become your own boss and I wish you good luck on your newly gained knowledge.

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Become Your Own Boss

What’s All the Hoopla about Disney World

          I am just another middle aged guy with a wife who is absolutely mesmerized by the Walt Disney franchise. She has begun to spread her fascination of Disney onto our little girls and it’s all they talk about. Even right now, as I type this blog, I hear “Love Is An Open Door” playing on the television. I will admit Frozen was a good movie, but my gosh, must I endure this movie for another 4 years since the older girls have moved on but the youngest has just fallen in love with Elsa.   
What’s All the Hoopla about Disney World
What’s All the Hoopla about Disney World

 

          My lovely and loyal wife’s passion with Disney does not just stop with the movies but also includes Disney World theme park. This theme park is not just the most magical place on earth, but also one of the most expensive places to visit. But what is a good husband and father to do other than fulfill his wife and children’s dream of visiting Disney. Not once, not twice, but over and over again. I wish they would take some inspiration from Frozen and just Let It Go, but that will never happen.

          Let me explain why I have become so anti-Disney over years, because this was not always the case. I had the great fortune of growing up in a middle class family that was able to visit Disney World twice during my youth. I remember begging my father in the late eighties to purchase a Goofy hat that was fairly expensive and him succumbing to my poor puppy dog eyes. Those family trips we took to Disney World are priceless to me and nothing will ever take them away.
          I returned to Disney World as an adult in 2004 with two children from an unsuccessful marriage and my girlfriend who is now my wife. The cost of the trip was somewhere between the cost of $1800 and $2400 including a few bells and whistles. We decided to surprise the children by waking them up in the middle of night and telling them we were headed to Disney World via the airport. Quite an exciting event since they had never flown before.
          The trip was absolutely awesome other than the fact that it rained everyday around 3:00pm with a significant temperature drop until the next day. That didn’t stop us from having the time of our lives. Disney World was still fairly priced and you received a bang for your buck. The dining plan was still fairly priced and it included everything from snacks, sodas, and restaurants if you took the time to make reservations in advance. When I say restaurants, I mean all the restaurants except Chef Mickeys which was worth the additional cost.
          I remember standing there at the age of 28 caught up in the hoopla watching the fireworks go off at Magic Kingdom one night deciding that I was daring enough to dream a dream. I was amazed with Disney World and wanted to buy some stock when I returned home. I didn’t unfortunately because it only cost $30.00 a share back then. It now goes for $140 a share. My loss is someone else’s gain I guess.
          We are going to jump forward now to year 2020 with me disenfranchised with Disney World and this is why. The theme park has lost its way and is being led by greedy corporate America and not Walt Disney’s dream. The cost to visit Disney has more than doubled and this does not include any bells and whistles. It doesn’t even include a meal plan. It’s gotten so bad that Disney heiress Abigail Disney came forward and voiced her dissatisfaction with the direction that the Walt Disney executives have chosen.
While planning our next trip, we agreed to forego the meal plan because it is just too expensive and we will pack sandwiches instead. I then mentioned drinks and she told me what the budget was for refreshments. I looked at her like she was crazy as she informed me that the sodas were over $4 a bottle. At this point I said WTF and that I was done with Disney World. Somehow in less than 20 years I went from eating steak dinners with grilled tuna appetizers to tuna fish sandwiches and bottle water for double the price. Something is very wrong here.
Walt Disney World at some point will be brought back to reality when they lose their most loyal fans. Disney was built upon the American dream and it feels like they have turned their backs on hard working middle class American families. They are more intent in bringing in travelers from abroad who are willing to pay a higher price to visit Disney World. Their share price currently is phenomenal, but I suggest this will change over time because I am a true believer in supply in demand. But this demand won’t stop until people like me put their feet down, refuse to give Disney World another dime and spend their hard earned money elsewhere.

Learn More About  Walt Disney World Resort At Disboards.com

What’s All the Hoopla about Disney World