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Chainfire's Journal
Chainfire's Journal
May 26, 2022

It is a crazy world we live in.

Earlier this month, I paid off my house mortgage five years early. It left me with no debt. My credit score dropped 50 points.

What are they trying to tell me?

May 26, 2022

Perhaps we should steal a play from the conservative playbook.

I worked at a major university. About every four months the anti-abortion crowd would set up in the "free speech" common area on campus with giant photos of aborted fetuses for the shock value of the "murdered children." Perhaps we should use the same tack by demonstrating at conservative venues with autopsy photos of gunned down children. Before and after photos. Make them view the fruits of their labors. I know that it is morbid and disgusting, but perhaps we need some shock to wake people up.

April 22, 2022

Paying off the mortgage tomorrow! Yea!

Our insurance situation has become so intolerable that we have decided to pay off the mortgage four years early. I am going to kiss homeowner's insurance goodbye after 45 years of payments with no claims. Tomorrow we go to the bank to get a wire transfer to complete the payments. That is not the important part of this thread.

Since we are going inside the bank for the first time in two years, we decided to empty our piggy banks into the free coin counter. When I come home with change or maybe a paper dollar or two in my pants pockets, it goes into a liquid soap container on my dresser. My wife has a regular ceramic pig, piggy bank for the same purpose. After removing fifty bucks in paper, I just weighed the coins at 20.5 pounds including the canvas bag that holds them.

So here is the deal, who wants to guess what 23.25 pounds of assorted pocket change will total through the machine? The winner will get a round of applause and the title of DU psychic.

My guess is $200.00 and my wife's is $250.00. You can tell who is the optimist in the family.

April 19, 2022

Are we already two nations residing inside the same border?

We are so split as to render our nation's name an oxymoron.

Bedrooms, families, neighbors, religious institutions, local governments, state governments, the federal government and our courts are split on party lines. The issues do not matter nearly as much as party loyalty. We are no longer in competition for our ideals, we are at war.

Our problems were simpler during the Civil War the lines of demarcation were clearly defined and it became a contest of might vs might. In both warring parties, there were places of safety, far behind the lines. In our war today, there are no physical lines, no safe zones to retreat to. In the American Civil War, the Union did not win the war based upon their moral superiority, (which they clearly had) they won due to their willingness to shed blood, their numbers and industrial and logistical superiority. They beat the Confederacy into total submission, then occupied the land and punished the losers. That is the way wars end.

Wars only end when the victor and the vanquished have been defined. The winners go on to dominate and extract revenge on the losers. The determination of success or failure is not based upon good and evil, but by the ability of one entity to dominate the other. Is that the inevitable result here?

Today our war is cold, a war of words, of legislation, of decrees, but the battles are escalating. The right is waging and winning wars in the states, the lines becoming more clearly defined; is it a matter of time before it becomes a war of weapons and blood? Or just a total submission to the tyranny of the right? There are millions of "Patriotic" Americans, armed to the teeth and praying for a Reichstag fire and a charismatic leader to lead them. These are people who worship Donald Trump, Abbot, DeSantis, Greene and their kindred spirits, they have a complete void of morals or sense of justice. They want you to either be either totally submissive or dead. You can hope for the best, but you best have a plan for the worse.

We live in interesting times, we may be living witnesses to the destruction of Democracy. The next few months may determine the history for the next 100 years.

April 12, 2022

Oh how I hate insurance companies

I bought my first house when I was about 25 years old. Since that time I have paid insurance premiums to various companies, roughly 45 years and have never filed an insurance claim. I may be about to drop it.

When I built my house about 20 years ago, I had a 30 year roof installed. My insurance company sent us a note that they will no longer write a policy on a roof that is over 20 years old. My roof is fine, it went through the worst hurricane that this part of Florida had seen in recorded history three years ago without losing a shingle...It is good for another 10 years or more. (Which will probably be longer than I live!!!)

Not only do I have to get a new roof, but they can't tell me what the cost of the new policy will be when it expires in four months, if we do get a new roof....So, I can buy a $20.000.00 new roof that I don't need and then will be stuck with whatever the new policy will cost. It may double or triple? Who knows and who knows about next year? The insurance industry just doesn't want to write in coastal areas. (and I am 60 miles from the coast, but in Florida)

Of course, I went into a slow simmer and started checking out other companies. It appears that no insurance companies in Florida are writing new policies on houses that are over 20 years old! Now I will have to guess but that must be about 80% of the houses in Florida.

I am down to the short rows on my mortgage, and have the money in the bank to pay it off. I think that I will pay off the mortgage and tell the insurance company to go to hell and take my chances. I just can't stand the thought of having to do business in a situation where I have no options, no control and no say. It seems like everywhere we turn the working class people are being put over a barrel.

April 6, 2022

Thought Question: is important that neither house of congress is badly unbalanced

The closer the opposing sides are in numbers, the easier it is for big money to sway issues to their own benefit. It is easier to flip two votes than ten, in either direction on any given legislation. The end result is that nothing of substance will ever get done, no changes to the current system are possible. Perhaps that is why we have both an MSNBC and a Fox news. If the sides are evenly split neither side can overpower the other so the war never ends and becomes more and more destructive by the day. Divide and conquer? The results of the political stalemate is that no social progress can ever be made and no one can challenge the power of the few to dominate the many.

While we are at war with each other, the fourth branch of government is looting us; big time.

April 5, 2022

I wonder if Ukraine is becoming an arms dealer's wet dream.

It appears, at this time, that the war has reached a sort of stalemate where neither side has the ability to destroy the other. It may be the modern equivalent of trench warfare. The war has no end in sight, but the fighting and the prospect of future fighting, continues. With every RPG used, every bomb dropped, every firearm destroyed, every bullet spent, it opens an opportunity for a sale. Wartime must be wonderful for those who provide the means to kill people for profit.

Of course, I may have it all wrong. My depth of "knowledge" of the workings of the dealers of death comes from adventure novels, and I have no clue where the authors got their "knowledge."

March 25, 2022

Sockie Mom is gone. Our feral cat that we have fed for over ten years died last night.

She and another feral had kittens under my front steps about ten years ago. It was very odd to us that two females shared the same "nest" and apparently both nursed all of the kittens. We gave all of the kittens but two away and had our own little feral colony for a while. They dropped out, one by one, three from natural causes and one I believe was taken by a Coyote. Old Socks had a good life, she only left our front porch for hunting or going to the bathroom. My wife has always tended to her, she had a heated house and she ate well. She appeared to be healthy and happy up to the end, but we knew it was coming. It was only in the last several months that she started allowing anyone to pet her, and that on a very limited basis. I always referred to her as "that old nasty cat", but I will miss her (but I won't admit it).

March 23, 2022

Putins enters the 4th week, of a 3 day war, with a 2nd class army,

and has shown that he is a 1st class failure. The Russian Trump!

He has already lost this war even if he eventually gains all of his initial objectives.

March 19, 2022

Lets talk about the weather.

I am in North Florida. Spring thunderstorms are the norm, they are no big deal. They come, boom for a half hour and and pass over.

Last night was the exception. At a little before sundown we got the worst thunderstorm that I have experienced in my 70 years. It lasted without break for nearly four hours. We lost power in the first half hour so I took my Kindle to bed. I could have read a paper book from the constant lightning. The thunder shook the house so bad that things literally fell off the walls. I had guessed that we had two inches of rain overnight, but my wife just checked the rain gauge that she had reset yesterday, we had 5" of rain in less than 12 hours. That is a lot of wet even for Florida.

I felt really sorry for my Black Lab. She usually only gives passing notice to thunder, but last night shook her up. I hope that along with almost no Winter, that this too does not become the norm.

Edit update: It is around 4:00 PM and the radar over my area is red again. We may be in for a 6"/24 hr. rain event. I now have fish asking for shelter in my barn.

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