Posted on Friday, 1st September 2023 by

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How did I ever find time to work before retiring? A lament expressed by many retirees, including myself. Life was much simpler, slower paced, with fewer technological advancements when I was young and full of vim and vigor. That ship has long since sailed.

Frustration Times 10

A friend forwarded me Steeler Tickets via email last week for the Jacksonville game this October.  I’ll be taking my grandsons to their first Steeler game. I had an iPhone-7 and it’s IOS (Operating System) wouldn’t transfer the tickets to the phone’s wallet.

If you don’t transfer the tickets to the wallet, you may not be able to access Ticket Master or the Steeler’s website the day of the game. Everyone and their uncle will be trying to get into the stadium with their cell phones; web-based systems are prone to crashing when you need them the most.  The wallet stores the scannable tickets on your phone, so you don’t have to connect to the internet to enter the stadium. Just open your wallet app.

I decided to upgrade my 5-year-old phone to an iPhone 13. They offered a special if I transferred my business lines to them as well and I agreed. A free second phone to replace my office’s landline was included and my monthly costs would only increase $20. Sounded reasonable.

I spent almost 7 hours over a two-day period to get this done. Two hours that first morning, a 2 o’clock appointment the same day that lasted until 5 pm, and then another two hours three days later to set up my new mobile business account. I’ve bought cars and homes in less time than it took to effect these changes.

You would think the process would be intuitive and fairly quick, it isn’t.  There were a few bright spots, with previous upgrades I lost contact information, photos, and many of my apps didn’t transfer correctly.

This time around the transfer to both phones was flawless, no lost data and I only had to reload one app of the 110 on my phone! It took over an hour for each phone transfer. A pleasant surprise even though the wait was unacceptable, and they had the most uncomfortable chairs without back supports in their waiting room.

The Truth and Nothing but the Truth

When we look under the hood so to speak, the substance of a process or program is exposed. Often times what we uncover reveals the truth of the subject without the frills that are meant to distract and persuade us to support an untenable proposition.

Inflation is insidious and steals more from us each and every day. The Inflation Reduction Act passed by Congress last year had little to do with reducing inflation. Its main purpose was to reduce carbon emissions, invest in clean energy, tackle the climate crisis, and to achieve the Biden Administration’s climate goals, including a net-zero economy by 2050!

Yes, there are elements to the bill that have merit. It wasn’t meant to fight inflation, yet the title persuaded many to support it.

Prices Continue to Soar

I worked on a number of projects this year and the costs for materials have gone through the roof. A gallon of paint, midgrade, was $45 on sale, a small container of spackling compound cost $6.95, the price I paid for a quart container before the COVID crisis hit.

The cost of electricity, natural gas, homeowner insurance, car insurance, gasoline and so much more continue to move higher with few exceptions. One of our homeowner’s insurance policies increased 340% this year from $750 to $2,985!

Eggs are one of the few success stories, they are down to just over a dollar a dozen. While shopping this week a 10 oz can of coffee was $6.95, a year ago a 25.6 oz container of Maxwell House coffee was on sale for $6.95.

Men’s haircuts are averaging $25 in my area, I took my son and a friend to breakfast recently, nothing out of the ordinary, and the bill was over $40.

Mortgages are approaching 8%; many desiring to move or upgrade are hesitant to give up their 3% mortgages for the higher rates available today. Unfortunately, a good number of first-time buyers are priced out of the market.

In 1985 when I had Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders to move to a new duty station, the lowest mortgage rate was 11 percent. When we closed, the couple selling us the property laughed when the agent said the total payout for a $65,000 loan over 30 years was $250,000! I refinanced several times after the closing as rates declined. Are we heading down this same path today? Time will tell.

The list goes on and on so when you hear inflation is improving, I’m sure if you look under the hood, you will find what my wife and I run into each and every day. It isn’t getting better.

Climate Crisis – Real, Imagined or Both

Our climate is a function of the earth’s size, magnetic poles, the polar icecaps, orientation to the sun, ocean currents, the earth’s axis and temperature differences that set everything into motion and so much more. The world’s climate has constantly changed since the beginning of time.

Anytime we suffer from a climate event: storms, draughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other anomalies, it is a crisis for those impacted. The question is, can man affect climate change that is a natural order of the planet and how all of its elements interact.

I’ve gone through a number of climate anomalies including hurricane Camille that hit Biloxi Mississippi where I was stationed in 1969. The storm devastated the area and I was placed on many cleanup details, entire communities were gone or washed away.

The storm hit on August 17, 1969, three months before I married the love of my life. I was looking forward to bringing my fiancée down to the gulf coast after our marriage and wrote Mary about the amusement park on the beach, restaurants on long piers that jetted out into the water, and the beautiful coastline drive. All vanished during the storm.

Mini Ice Age

Did you know that a little ice-age impacted the world from the mid 1300 hundreds to 1850. There were few carbon-based fuels used other than wood, coal and peat to blame the crisis on. Nature calls the shots, and we have to react to it as best we can.

According to Britannica, “The Little Ice Age, though synonymous with cold temperatures, can also be characterized broadly as a period when there was an increase in temperature and precipitation variability across many parts of the globe.”

Yes, climate changes and we should be good stewards of our earth, explore ways to mitigate potential climate related events, recycle, use renewable energy where it makes sense because carbon-based fuel supplies aren’t infinite. However, we must be cautious not to tip the scales too far in any direction without considerable forethought.

Every weather event today is sited as a reason to aggressively move towards a net zero economy and to fast track the move towards all electric vehicles. The following articles and book discuss climate change and the first two explain some of the perceived misconceptions and how politicians use it to drive their agenda.

The third one is the Environmental Protection Agencies’ (EPA’s) climate analysis. Two somewhat different perspectives, all voices should be heard to come to consensus on the path forward.

It would be virtually impossible to develop a model to accommodate all aspects that impact earth’s climate. The more input received and considered, the better understanding we will have of this complex subject.

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The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial, medical or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.

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