Burned bridges

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Well, the time has finally come and home is no longer a dreaded place. The subject of many of the rants on this blog has now burned a bridge and there is no chance of home turning into a place of total turmoil again (well, there is a large caviat to that I guess. More on that later.) It’s tough to go all the way back in time and cover all the ground that could be covered to properly put this whole thing into perspective, but that would be a lot of work and I am not sure you all care that much to have a complete picture. If you have been around the blog for a while, you can probably put things together with just the few posts mentioned here today.

I have tried to help those who couldn’t help themselves. I have been trying for many years and it finally came to a head this last weekend. The trouble with this is again that it is self-inflicted and someone thinks, yet again, they are the vicitim. Really, it is by choice and being unwilling to take any advice. Unfortunately, it’s the five grandchildren that will suffer the most.

When my step-son and his five kids were allowed to move in back in November there was hope that maybe there would be some changes in their lives that would lead to a postive outcome (and it might still but seeing that at this point is hard to imagine). Things that have been discussed here previously (see above as well as the following) was about wasted food, not parenting the grandchildren, and the outright disregard for sanity in parenting.

It finally all came to a head last Saturday.

The night before (Friday) by son had been up a large ortion of the night with the youngest grandchild because she was sick. As requested, he let us know he needed more sleep (he requested an hour) and we agreed to take over childcare duties so he could get some sleep. That request was abused and turned into four hours.

As a result, the five grandchildren were left in our care and we did everything we could to keep them occupied, busy, loved, dressed, fed, and entertained. We kept them from going in to wake their dad, even though he totally went beyond the time requested and agreed upon. At one point in the morning, the second oldest (age 6) got a little too rambunctious with the middle child (age 4) and repeated hit him “accidentally.” The 6-year old had been warned repeatedly and was asked at one point to stay on his bunk bed as a time out until he was released. Again, there was unusual noise and I checked on the commotion…the 6-year old was on the floor wrestling the 4-year old, having him pinned below him and him crying. I took one step into the room, delived a single swat to the backside of the 6-year old with my hand, which sent him crying back to his bunk.

He and I chatted about the incident not five minutes later and he admitted that he disobeyed, that he was playing too rough with his sibling, and that he hadn’t “accidentally” hit his sibling either. He went to far as to admit that he deserved the swat. He was back to playing and didn’t cause any other issues the rest of the day.

UNTIL. Until, he skipped into the room while his dad was making dinner and blurted out, “Grandpa hit me.”

I was there. He’s six, so his recollection of the events and why he got the swat weren’t entirely accurate. My son then proceeded to say, “Stop hitting my kids.”

Long story short, the discussion after that point corrected the events as told by the 6-year old, involved a threat of calling the police if I continued to discipline the children in a way that he didn’t agree with, and an ultimatum that said they’d move out if I (well, we, because my wife has spanked them too) didn’t bend to his parenting style, which includes the lack of discipline.

Mind you, he has virtually no place to go except one friend’s house which is not ideal for any of them.

So, I recommended finding a new place to stay since I was not going to do what he wanted me to do.

My wife and I had already had the discussion that this would likely come up again. There was a blow up about it a week prior where he basically packed up the kids with no coats, no socks, no shoes, and no food, and left the house for about 12 hours. We were clear when he left the first time that nothing on our part would change since we love the grandchildren and we are constanly having to step in to pick up the slack. We had the agonizing discussion that the threat of law enforcement would eventually be used and how we would respond to it…the conclusion was that we would ask that they move out, knowing full well that that wouldn’t be the best thing for the grandkids considering the turmoil they have endured over the last several years. But, we also knew he would refuse to leave them behind with us.

At this point, they haven’t returned. As far as we are concerned, he has burned his bridges with us. We, his mom and I, have been there and picked up the pieces enough. We love our grandkids, but for him we are done. If it really comes down to it, we will take the grandkids back to live in our house but he will not be welcome.

A tough decision, but we see no other way around it. We aren’t going have someone (even our son) threaten us and force us into living and “grandparenting” into a style we believe is wrong.

Home is more peaceful these days. It sucks considering what our grandkids are going through.

But, we couldn’t be held hostage in our own home either.

Debt limit

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Time to tighten the belt.

Time to hunker down and make some painful adjustments.

Time for the government to live within it’s means and stop the unlimited spending.

You may have caught the article today saying the US will reach it’s debt limit and default by the end of next week, unless there is (again) a move to increase the limit. Every time this comes up, the debt limit is negotiated up…now sitting at $31 trillion.

Sorry, but you can’t have unlimited spending. You just can’t. Personal budgets don’t work that way. Company/business budgets don’t work that way. You can’t spend more and not cut it from somewhere else. That’s just not how it works. But, the government seems to think that’s they way to do it (especially one party, but both are guilty).

Time to stop assisting in places of the world that should take care of itself. Sure, I understand the goodwill generated by the international assistance fund, but we can’t afford it.

Time to stop paying for illegal immigrants to stay in the country.

Time to stop paying for every social “justice” fad that comes along.

Time to stop filling the budget with “pork“.

This doesn’t mean that increasing taxes is the answer either. Spend less, collect less. Collect only what is necessary.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something the politicians seem to understand.

Not improved

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The first post of the new year is to let all of you know that nothing here has changed. The site is not “new and improved.” I am not new and improved. I don’t intended to make anything new or improve anything. Everything will stay the same and I will stay the same.

I am still grumpy.

I am still cantankerous.

I am still going to complain.

I am still irritable.

I am still shaking my head at all the BS around me.

I am still gonna Piss & Moan.

Have no fear, things around here aren’t going to change. So, as you read all these upbeat and overly optomistic posts on other sites about this looking (or hoping) like a better new year, just know you aren’ going to get any of that crap here.

Nothing is changing.

Hope is pointless since it will likely be dashed asap.

Just shrug your shoulders and keep trudging along.

Help those

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Is the old saying, “Help those who can’t help themselves.” I have Googled it and several different versions or iterations come up for it.

I am tired.

Tired of helping those who nearly refuse to listen to reason and help themselves.

Once again, helping someone who has struggled all of their adult life, has a family, and continues to dream “pie in the sky” dreams even though the family would be homeless if not for the help of others.

“Get a full time job.” Good advice. Doesn’t matter what at this point and it really doesn’t matter how much it pays as long as it is brining in money that can be saved for the future and put to good use when the time comes. Instead, it is ignored for the idea that “starting my own business” is the better way to go – regardless of the fact that it has been pointed out time and time again that this goal should be a side gig until it can provide for the family on a full time basis. It has no benefits to start with. It has no healthcare. It is piecemeal at best for an income.

“Go visit Community Action to get some local ai started.” There is time in the day. Sure, the three youngest kids will have to be in tow to do it but it’s getting something started.

“Go visit DSHS. Get that process started.” Excuses about why it’s not possible at the moment.

This family has been living on state aid for years. This family has basically survived the last 7 months on pure charity from others, something to the tune (if roughly added together) would amount to probably about $40,000.

I am tired.

I am tired of helping someone that can’t or won’t help themselves.

Total turmoil

If you have noticed that it’s been a little quiet around here…thanks for noticing. If you haven’t noticed, that’s fine too.

Baseball analogy time: Life around here has been in total turmoil as life seems to throw only curveballs, all the time, and I can’t hit them. It would be nice to have a fastball or a changeup, but instead it has just been a steady diet of curveballs.

Trying to keep up with the changes over the last year has been draining to say the least. The last month, month and a half, has been a blur.

I don’t mean to sound selfish, but I don’t wany any of it. I don’t mean to sound heartless or uncaring, but I am losing my ability to care.

I am tired of the constant family trials, difficulties, challenges.

Once again, life has gotten extremely uncomfortable. If you have been around here long, you are probably familiar with some of the things/people I have referred to in the past. Once again, the past issues are now current issues again.

It’s just…turmoil.

Gas lit

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High gas prices and getting higher. OPEC+ announced earlier this month that they are going to cut production. It’s hard to know exactly who to blame. Some say it is the result of inflation. Some say it is the result of government policy. Some say it is the result of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Some say it is just the oil companies jacking prices for profit. It obviously isn’t as simple as one of these things and trying to make it solely about one of them is foolish.

However, here in the the US, it has a lot to do with the fact that our government (the Biden administration) has chosen to take a route with energy policy that does’t keep access to oil easy or convenient. As such, the supply is always short in the US when we could actually be nearly oil independent. The administration refuses to allow more refineries, more drilling, and no new pipelines.

The Democrats believe higher energy prices will force Americans to finally get behind “clean” energy of wind and solar, the faster the better in their view. But they also see the peril in allowing prices to get too high, especially when it comes time to vote. Biden has been trying to keep prices low (very unsuccessfully) over the last couple months because of the looming mid-term elections. With an upcoming election and prices rising rapidly, the Biden administration is trying to put pressure on Saudi Arabia because the cost of fuel (well, the cost of everything really) will be weighing on the minds of Americans when they fill in their ballot. When Americans feel pain at the pump and in their wallet they tend to vote away from policies that made it them feel it.

As an example, I have three receipts less than a month apart. In that time span, the gas price as my local Costco (nearly always the cheapest price) has gone up $1.10/gal. That’s a lot of pain at the pump in less than a month. The worst part is that fuel prices are typically going down this time of year (after Labor Day) since the “driving season” is over and consumption/demand is lower.

My last three fill-ups.

Obviously, this is weighing on my mind. I make a pretty good income, but I am feeling the pinch. I can imagine how others who were already on tight budgets are feeling now. It’s a struggle and really hard choices are having to be made. I am sure the last thing they are thinking about is clean energy and long term policy. They (we) all want some relief.

Manipulating voters before an election is nothing new. Both parties do it. It’s irritating as hell that most people don’t see right through it. But, put a little money in the pockets of voters shortly before an election and they tend to forget the pain they felt for a short time while they vote. We’ve seen this fairly often too – and in a not so transparent move, California (the largest state, dominated by Democrats) is giving money back to voters just in time for elections. It apparently goes by many different names – “Middle Class Tax Refund”, “Inflation Relief Check”, “Gas Tax Refund” – but the goal is all the same, make sure voters try to forget their pain at the pump and other places for a short time. Also, just in time (not a coincident or a surprise), the president releases more oil from the strategic stock pile. Didn’t see that one coming…*sarcasm*

Anyone else tired of the garbage going on in DC, or their own state? Anyone else tired of the rich and elite manipulating the government for themselves?

The OPEC+ decision to cut oil production will make prices spike in the short term. How that ends up translating to prices at the pump remains to be seen, obviuosly. However, can we be confident that the OPEC+ members will actually abide by the agreement? Not really. Traditionally, they decide on a production cut and then one or more members decide that the price spike is too good to lower production so they keep producing at the current level to maximise profits during the price increase. Members always accuse other members of violating their agreement and everyone ends up producing just as much or more than previous levels to make up for lost ground in the market.

Ultimately, their announcement is market manipulation and likely won’t really happen. But, it also might be American election manipulation too. To say that oil producing countries are “pleased” with American Democrats and their progressive push towards climate alarmism would be more than a mis-statement. Another political party would be friendlier, in their opinion. This may be their actual goal, but time will tell.

Ironic fencing

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Turns our Democrats actually want fences, just not to protect the nation’s borders.

It seems rather ironic, don’t you think?

A president who literally ran with a campaign promise of cancelling the border fence started by the previous president and virtually opening the borders to all who dare to violate national sovereignty, well, he actually WANTS a fence…around his house and property. Mind you, this is also private property being protected with public funds for all of perpitude, though he will not be in public service beyond his time in office.

Turns out, protecting himself and his family and his wealth and his image (gained legally and…perhaps illegally? *cough – Hunter*) is important enough to have a fence around it. But, having a fence around the country and protecting those that live here legally (and illegally) from weapons, drugs, criminals, etc., etc., well, that is going too far.

Anyone else find the irony farcical?

Another example of leadership and the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude.

Emergency state

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The Washington governor is the most ridiculous ever. This isn’t an over the top, exaggeration type statement. It’s a fact. Case in point: He still has his “emergency powers” and will not let them go. The state legislature doesn’t even have a way to check his power (not surprisingly, the Dems in the state actually refused to change the state constitution to give them, the legislature, a check on the governor).

As the dreaded c-word has basically run it’s course, the governor – Jay Inslee – continues to make rules and dictate what will happen in the state even though an emergency no longer exists. Nevermind the fact that the “emergency” was over at least a year ago, but now the CDC has basically said that nearly everyone in the US has “immunity” to it. 95% of Americans have had sh0ts or actually had it. As such, they have dropped nearly all precautions instituted/recommended. They even said they basically blew it when it comes to how they responded. The governor, however, has refused to say when he will give up the powers and certainly makes it clear there are no plans to do it any time soon.

Here’s the thing though, the governor (and by extension, Dems in general) don’t want to let go of this “emergency” because it has given them extraordinary, unchecked power to control nearly everything in the daily lives of the population. It has made it easier for them to cancel opposition or put up roadblocks to keep people from questioning their authority.

Folks, this had drug out way too long. There may have been a need at one point, for a short period of time, but this has turned into the most egregarious power grabs in history. Whomever thought allowing a governor to have unchecked powers missed the mark entirely.

Mark my words, there will be more “emergencies” in the near future.

Cruise control

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Do you use cruise control in your vehicle when you are on a long drive? Do you like to set it and forget it…until some jackwagon decides that pacing you in your blind spot is a good idea and then you have to cancel your cruise by stepping on your brake?

You know it is inevitable, right? Is that Murphy’s Law or is that bad karma or is it just a coincidence?

I took a road trip this last weekend (12 hours total driving time) and I noticed that just about every time I set the cruise control (about 7-8 mph over the speed limit, mind you) that within about 10 minutes I would have to step on the brake and cancel it.

I was driving across the state, on the east side, where there are long stretches of nothing. It’s just highway – long, flat, some rolly hills, but mostly uninteresting. You would think it would be a great place to just set the cruise control and just drive.

Nope.

Seemingly without fail, about the time I would need to pass someone on the left there would be a car pacing me, in my blind spot, and not allowing me to change lanes.

It’s almost as if they were doing it on purpose. Miles and miles and miles of unobstructed driving until that moment.

And instead of recognizing what is about to happen in front of or next to them and speeding up just a little so as to not have to slow down themselves, they just keep their own pace and make me break mine. Jackwagon.

Do people realize you can step on the gas while cruise control is on and speed up and it DOES NOT cancel your cruis control or change your speed? No need to reset it. No need to click Resume. The vehicle just returns to the speed you set it for. Kinda like magic.

But instead, it would appear people like to annoy the hell outta me (and probably others too).

That just figures.

Cheaped out

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“Tradition” has been (or will be) broken. Actually, I am not sure how much of a tradition it is but I do know it is an annual occurrence that has taken place for at least as long as I have been with this organization. I am sure it started way before I became employed here.

The annual company/department picnic is today. Only it isn’t going to be a picnic today…

The picnic hasn’t really happened, of course, over the last several years because, ya know, covid. People freak out if you’re in too close proximity even when outdoors so it didn’t happen. But this year, the powers that be decided it was alright to have it again. As such, we will be headed to the park later this afternoon.

But, here’s the thing. It isn’t really going to be a picnic.

In the past, the managers have provided all the spread for a picnic lunch. Sandwiches, fruit, veggies, chips, drinks, etc. were all included with this time away from the office and official duties. People brought chairs and hung out in a relaxing atmostphere and got to know each other in a different setting.

This year, the managers have cheaped out. This year it isn’t a lunch so much as a snack time. Chips and cookies are the highlight of the menu this year. So, for most people, they will have to have a lunch of some kind before heading to the picnic.

Not sure why there has been a change from what was done in the past, but this is rather anticlimatic. Are we supposed to look forward to this? Doesn’t really seem like a celebration of another support year completed before moving into another school year support cycle. It almost seems more like an obligatory afterthought.

I guess I should just temper the complaint with the fact that I won’t have to be working during that time. But I would be much happier if they would feed me a regular lunch like in the past…