Sunday, March 22, 2009

USER FEES, THE NEW TAX ($1.80 per gal. gas tax increase)

For several years government entities from the federal level all the way down to small town U.S.A. have had a revelation. They know that they have to come up with fresh new ways to raise revenue. That’s much easier than actually having to follow a real budget like the rest of us simple folk. To government the word budget is simply a dirty little buzz word. If any private business tried to operate as government does, they would have gone out of business shortly after they opened their doors.
Sure, every once in a while the government will throw us a bone. I know it’s hard for some to understand, but tax cuts actually stimulate the economy. Just channel President Kennedy or Reagan and ask either one of them. Many elected officials seem to forget the only income they can depend on is produced by the people that vote for them. We broke away from England because of over taxation. Taxes in this country began as voluntary less than 100 years ago. Try not volunteering to pay your taxes.
So now we have a new “stimulus” package. Many people thought President Bush spent way too much money (with the approval of the Democratically controlled congress). This spendulous bill is incomprehensible. A commercial I recently watched says if you could spend $1,000,000 dollars each day for 2009+ years it still wouldn’t equal the cost of this gigantic tax payer obligation. Think about that for just a minute. One positive aspect of this bill passed by these so called leaders with the speed of lightning is that we will realize a profit on the individual level of $13 whole dollars a week. That’s before taxes! Please go out to breakfast once a week with your new windfall profit (that was yours to begin with). Do your part as a good American and go stimulate this weak economy. Eat slowly because we are going to pay for that omelet for a very long time.
Here’s an inventive idea. The beautiful state of Oregon is considering a new program to install GPS devices in every car in the state to track their mileage. Why would they do that? Well, apparently the tax on a gallon of gas isn’t enough now. The mileage standards congress has forced automakers to adhere to have worked so well that tax revenues have gone down. Oh damn it, they forgot to take that into consideration. As an added bonus the government will also now be able to track your every movement with this fine free new device for your car. Another state is seriously looking at the idea of installing an odometer counter to your vehicle to track your mileage. They are kicking around the thought of taxing their residents one penny per quarter mile. Quarter mile? B.S. I guess saying that they want to tax you four cents a mile just sounds way too high. I think their state officials are “too high”. If your car gets 20 mpg this example would be the equivalent of a new eighty cents per gallon gas tax. What if you invested the extra money to do your part for the environment and now own a Hybrid? Well, if it gets 40 mpg you guys are gonna get nailed really hard. They are currently trying to figure out how to make it fair for Hybrid owners. Well, at least they are trying to think of ways to make this idea fair for everyone. LOL, what a joke!
When are we going to say enough is enough? One thing I have learned from developing The Learning Course (as seen at is now is the time to start paying close attention to those who are running the show and take notes. Most of us live very busy lives and really don’t have time to stay focused on what happened a year ago or even two months ago in this fast paced society. The politicians count on that. At election time they make all these wild promises and know how to put on a real entertaining dog and phony show. If you as a tax payer and a voter are serious about your vote counting for something, anything, takes notes. Keep track of what these fools are doing so that you don’t have to try to remember the real record. They certainly don’t want you to. The biggest problem I had with McCain was his record and the biggest problem I had with the big O was his lack of one. That goofball can’t even speak without the words he’s supposed to recite staring him in the face. Clinton was a masterful politician. President B.O. is a masterful marionette until one of the strings brakes.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I am so pleased to see and be witness to the person you are becoming. Our “date” at the Red Mill will always have a special place in my heart.
I was very excited about the thought of meeting the girl I have loved her whole life once again. When I spoke with her on Friday night she announced with pride that she earned 4 A’s and a B in PE (I personally think that she wants an A in PE also). The fact that all of her A’s are in “gifted” classes serves her well. She is very smart and she uses this realization to her advantage.
On occasion throughout her life I have given her fake flowers. She just has always appreciated them. She would play with them and they would last a long time (she would eventually give them all away and then do another good deed and earn more to give away). As a “gift” for Monica’s good grades I brought her a dozen silky red roses. She loved them. She looked at them for a moment as if she could smell them and then removed one. What she did next touched my heart. She wrapped the wire stem around my rear view mirror. I will leave it there and every time I focus on the rose I will instantly be taken back to that day we spent some special time together.
We have had this Saturday date for a couple of weeks so we confirmed a time. I scooped up Monica and we headed to Seattle. The Red Mill is a little burger joint I watched a profile on from the pigout expert Alan Richman on the Travel Channel. Bring your wallet but the burgers are good. Monica is such a grateful soul. She bit into that hamburger, looked me in the eye and said, “that is the best burger I have ever had dad”. I couldn’t help but agree, I was caught up in the moment. We paid the price of gold for those burgers but she was a happy girl and that’s really all that mattered.
We decided to see a movie. We had a wonderful time together. We had time to talk, time to eat together and time to just hold each other’s hand.
We have much to learn from the little things in life. To pay attention is free. Be grateful that we have the ability to focus on the things we desire. Please make a list of ten things you are grateful for at this very moment. I’m grateful that you have read this far. LOL
Geoff/TLC guy
P.S. While I was writing this entry I was listening to my headphones. I just received a message from Monica via voice mail. She had a bit of sadness in her voice. She called to let me know that her pets had found her flowers and torn them to shreds. I’m sure she will earn more flowers very soon. It does go to show you though, keep the valuables out of reach of the animals.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


It’s a documented fact that we judge a book by its cover. The two words in the tile of this blog entry do have two distinct and separate meanings. Prejudice is actually a fear based response. Even though fear is the last thing we should focus on, it is a defense mechanize. On the other hand, racism is a disease of the mind.
I want to expound on prejudice first. We are all the product of our environment and experiences. Right or wrong, we all make judgments on many aspects of our environment daily on conscious and subconscious levels. This can keep us safe depending on the situation. It also can move you away from fresh and new opportunities unfortunately.
What do you think when you see a person holding a card board sign on a street corner or a freeway exit? I think we all can be that guy or gal. Most people are just a few paychecks away from financial ruin. All it takes is one life changing event. It doesn’t even have to be a big one. It can be something small that snowballs into an unstoppable freight train depending on what you focus on. It’s true that some beggars make up to $20 an hour tax free and live a decent life. They give real homeless people without hope a bad rap. I have compassion for those who feel the only recourse they have to survive is to beg. They have lost the ability to realize they can make it.
Racism is a much more complex problem. I deplore this train of thought. I always have, even before I was old enough to understand what it meant. We are all people. PEOPLE! PERIOD! How can anyone be so pampas as to think they are better than another for any reason? We all come from different cultures, backgrounds, and histories but that is what makes life interesting. If we were all the same that would be so boring.
As I was growing up I experience many different examples of racism. When I was a teenager my step dad always labeled people that did or said dumb things with the “N” word. It didn’t matter what race they were, they were n...ers. I hated that. Every time he would say that word it cut through me like a knife. I understand why he was this way. He grew up in a very racist and ignorant environment. This was the only example he was shown of how to function in society. I sincerely believe that he was not a true racist but words you use can make you appear to be very ignorant.
Another example of apparent racism in my life presented itself to me over a decade ago. At the time I had recently made a new friend. This guy and I are true kindred spirits. We have since become the best of friends. One night after my divorce we got together to hit a few night spots. We both knew this one woman that I was interested in dating. We were having a drink and talking before we went out and he made a racist comment about her. You need to understand, I really looked up to this guy. He is older than me and I admire his wisdom. When he made the comment I stopped him in his tracks, looked him in the eye and told him I would never tolerate another racist comment from him ever. I also told him that if that was what he was all about that I would not continue to be his friend. I think I changed him that night. He isn’t racist, he was only joking but it wasn’t funny. That was a life changing moment for both of us. He is my best friend today. He is a mentor of mine but he also has tremendous respect for me. He has since never talked about different races in a derogatory manor, at least in front of me.
I do want to touch on one point of political hypocrisy here briefly. Do you know who Robert Byrd is? If he is still alive I think he is pushing 120 years old. He was a zombie US senator for what seemed like 100 years (it was a very long time). I don’t remember what state he was from but I do know some of his history. He is a permanent fixture in the Democratic Party. He was also a KKK member in the 1960’s. The press portrays the Republicans as the party of racism.
I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m a conservative and a libertarian. I had a conversation with my bio dad a few months ago. He is a rabid liberal. Anyone (like me) that doesn’t agree with him is viewed as a threat to his ideology. Unfortunately he doesn’t know me at all. His perception of my mindset is that I’m a racist homophobe that wants to poison the earth. He has no idea what a loving person I really am. I wish he did because I love him. He is the only bio dad I will ever have. Oh well.
Oprah made a statement several years ago that has always stayed with me. She said, “I’m not an African American, I’m an American”. I love and respect her for that comment. So is this country still a racist country? I don’t think so. Does this thinking make me stupid or out of touch? I guess so if this country is still viewed as racist. Sure, there will always be backwards thinking idiots who feel threatened by others who are not like them but that’s life.
We now have a “black” president (or should I say African American president?). Is saying “black” racist? The fact is, at least for me anyway, I don’t care if he is green or purple or blue. Why is everyone so high on the fact that he is black? I don’t get it. Is this his best qualification? Did he get elected because we needed a “black” president to get over our guilt of our sad history of slavery? What’s the big deal? I vote for the person, man or woman, I feel is best qualified to fill the position. Focusing on who someone is instead of what they are is so important to remember. Can we please stop focusing on the color of a person’s skin as a designation of who they are? It seems to me that focusing on ethnicity for any intention, go or bad, is in itself racist. Please tell me what you think.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


We have become very spoiled here in America. Many people around the world have a negative opinion of us. Is it because we are so engaged in the war on terror? Some would say that is the reason. Others would point to the arrogant attitudes some of us have.
Have you ever seen the show The Amazing Race? This American tv show begins with over 10 teams (couples) that come from diverse walks of life. I used to watch it because of all the interesting places around the world the show visits. Two things really bother me about this show. The first thing is the way some of the couples treat each other. I remember one married team where the husband was actually physically abusive to the wife on camera! Their reward was a psycho analysis on the Dr. Phil-lis show.
The other thing I just can’t stand about this show is the way some of these teams behave towards the people that live in the countries the show visits. Some Amazing Race contestants are just arrogant beyond belief. They give the rest of us Americans very poor representation. I certainly would never behave like a spoiled adolescent as some of these stupid players do. I don’t watch the show anymore because of the way some of the contestants represent Americans to the rest of the world. Tragic.
Our modern society has grown accustom to getting almost anything we want instantly. Just like the ability to buy a house that doesn’t fit the budget (but don’t worry, the government will step in and renegotiate your mortgage if you don’t pay). How did we ever adopt the belief that we were entitled to wants and desires? Who or how have we been fooled into thinking that we deserve to have without earning? I don’t know and I’m not saying all Americans are like this because they aren’t. Many people around the world think we are though.
Many cultures around the world survive on a whole lot less and they are much happier. Whatever happened to gratitude? Why are some so obsessed with what others posses, weather it be riches or intellect? Maybe a better question is how come so many people focus on what they don’t have instead of all of the things they have been blessed with? Why do some obsess about what they can get from somebody else for giving as little as they can in return? How have we become so duped into spending billions of our hard earned dollars on get rich quick schemes that only make the inventor of the idea rich?
So many things have contributed to this mindset in the past fifty years, one of those being the invention of the television. I like tv and I watch it. It’s too bad that we are running out of ideas for true entertainment. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some very good shows out there but they are few and far between. These days tv is more about advertising than entertainment. It’s also sad to see how exploited the television industry and media in general have become.
Back in late September of 2008 I became totally disgruntled with the American election process. I just got so tired of hearing how bad things were from every candidate. None of them inspired any hope for the future in me. If I remember correctly, did the majority of voters here in the land of plenty vote for “change we can believe in”? So where is this miraculous change? It looks to me like the old saying, same s..t different day. This week our new president told America on television that if we don’t approve his new spending bill (the biggest package of PORK in human history) that America will never be able to recover and be the great nation that it has been for so long. If anyone thinks our greatest days are behind us then their life will suck until they change their thinking.
I am sick of this kind of talk. Let’s get the whole country focused on how bad things are and how they are just going to get worse. The more we think like this the worse things will get, I guarantee it. If we don’t let the government print more funny money and control more of the free markets that have made America the great independent nation it is, we will all be doomed. Is this the change the people voted for? Is this the change we can believe in? Did we get fooled again? The only way we will be a great nation for future generations is if we stop focusing on all of the things that don’t work. Vote these clowns out of office on both sides of the isle and let’s get some real leadership in place. I’m not delusional. We do have problems but problems demand solutions not whining. Let’s focus on solutions folks, not problems!

Monday, February 2, 2009


What exactly is ego? As defined by Webster’s dictionary it’s just one, self. That’s not much help. How about egocentric? That means self-centered. That makes the definition a bit more clear. Ego materializes in many different ways. Egotism is defined as vanity and vanity is conceit so if you go to the word conceit it’s defined as excessive self esteem.
Understanding the different definitions found for the word ego only goes to one thing. People with big egos think of themselves as pretty darn special. They see themselves as “better” than other people. Is that pathetic or what? I once knew a woman who looked me right in the eyes and told me she was better than I was. I felt really sorry for her.
Have you ever heard of a bruised ego? This is another aspect of ego one should guard against. This can happen when we allow the words or actions of another to hurt us. If you have a low self esteem this can be a bad habit that can run your life and crush your spirit. If you don’t know how to control your emotions, your ego is probably out of balance as well.
A few years ago I read A Course In Miracles. The most important thing I learned from ACIM is to keep your ego in check. This gave me some real clarity. I used to be the type of person that would get the bruised ego. That’s not me anymore. I don’t let the actions or words of others dictate my moods or attitudes. When someone behaves in an unattractive manor I just have to remember what I have learned. This is simply a display of someone else’s ego that has been left unchecked.
The unchecked ego can destroy wonderful relationships and leave you hurt and confused. It has no problem destroying anything or anyone it perceives as a threat. It refuses to be accountable because it is dishonest with itself and with everything it infects. This is the truth it will not accept. It knows no truth because it is smart enough to know that it cannot be trusted.
Ego is evil and destructive. It spreads like a slow, silent spiritual cancer of thought. It’s much like the hopeless alcoholic. Until a person realizes and admits they have a problem they continue to rely on the source of their pain for relief. Talk about a double edged sward.
If you think you might have a problem with ego you probably do. Do you see yourself as more than mere common man? Do you idolize others of higher social status? Do you feel the need to have the best or the latest version of “stuff”? Do you wish you were born under a “lucky star” like your neighbor that appears to have it all? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you may need to give some thought to why.
Do you accept yourself the way you are? You should, that doesn’t mean you’re all done, that you’re the best you can be. No matter who you are, there is always room for improvement. Do you like yourself? If you’re not sure than make a list of things you like about yourself and the things you don’t. Take a good look at your list of don’ts and choose to change them. I know that is simple to say. Change them, just like that, ya right. I’m serious, you do have a choice.
One way to make these changes is to get a self improvement book, CD, or DVD. That may not even be enough though. Buying a program of this nature and reading, listening to it, or watching it isn’t enough. Learning and memorizing the teachings of these programs is not the same as living them. The only way I know to actually live the positive changes you learn is to learn on a conscious and subconscious level. You can learn to retain information on both levels with the aid of the methods taught in the pages of The Learning Course. You can find this step by step method of learning at Check it out now.

Monday, January 26, 2009


I used to listen to the radio all day long when I was a home remodeler. One type of commercials that always caught my ear was the insane home mortgage and refinancing companies and their shady tactics. I also knew there was something very wrong with the content of these messages. Just to clarify, this is only one aspect of a combination of recent events that has hurt the American and the World economy in recent months. The interesting thing to me is that no one seems to want to talk about a dirty little secret I am going to share with you.
I would like to explain where I’m coming from. Please think about and answer one question. Is the Federal Government in existence to protect us or to take care of us? Opinions vary on this question depending on personal experience. In my mind they exist to protect us. This mindset is changing. If the collective soul of America is going to be fooled into thinking that the government is here to take care of our needs then Capitalism is dead. What will replace it, Socialism? Is that what we really want? Do you really want the same thing greedy politician’s lust for, more power over you? We still have the power to shape our own destiny but it is being eroded by the attitude of a “me first” generation. This applies to more than one recent generation. Remember John Kennedy’s famous speech, “ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country”?
Congress and President Bush are either totally inept or they have traded in their responsibility for greed. First let’s talk about President Bush’s role in this mess. I get so angry when I reminisce about the countless times he made speeches about how home ownership is higher today than at any other time in the history of this country. That’s only because we have a large group of people that were irresponsibly given the opportunity to purchase homes they could not afford. Now we the American tax payer are paying a very heavy price and this problem is not going away any time soon. Is he lying to himself or just stupid? The other side of this coin is the democratically controlled congress. Several of these good ol’ boys have been getting sweetheart Real Estate deals and mortgages for years but no one in the press (except for a few) want to talk about this at all. The only reason these deals were being handed out to the power brokers in Washington D.C. was so that congress would not pass proper mortgage regulations and guidelines. Believe me, I am not big on government regulation but some regulation is necessary to combat greed.
The one disturbing element in the mortgage company commercials I talked about earlier is very simple. These shady mortgage companies advertised new loans and refinancing with one added bonus, they would be happy to appraise your property for free. Wow, what a great deal. They did this with IN HOUSE APPRAISERES. This is clearly a conflict of interest and should have never been allowed to take place. These guys were placing any value they needed to on a property and falsely inflating home prices just to secure the deal. Then they would turn around and sell these sub standard loans in large packages to banks that were backed by the Federal government, you the tax payer. Mortgage companies and appraisers need to be separated by law. This is where the government needs to step in and lead. They don’t want to though; this would jeopardize their personal finances, no more sweetheart deals.
I don’t know the answer. Do we let these industries fail and let them take their lumps? Do we let congress print more money and just give it away at our expense? The more money that is created out of thin air simply means it will just be worth less. I hope we never see the day that it becomes worthless. If the government continues to just dole out bail out money then they will have more control over how the private sector operates. The politicians are getting exactly what they want, more power. The sad thing is they are purchasing this power with our money!
I always write my blog a few days before I post. Today (1-26-09) I learned that CitiBank has just purchased a new $50,000,000 corporate jet from FRANCE! This is because their other 2 jets are over 8 years old. BOO HOO!
I have an idea. Instead of giving our hard earned tax dollars to irresponsible corporate CEO’s to waste, let’s give it back to us consumers. Let us put it back into the economy. But what if we don’t spend it? What if we decide to save it? How will that stimulate the economy? Who cares, it’s our money. We earned it and we should be able to spend it as we choose. If you think the government can spend your money better than you can then you are beyond hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009


My son Elias is a beautiful soul. This guy is now 16 years old. We don’t talk like we used to. I miss that. I love him more than he will ever know (at least until he has his own kids).
My mom smothered me with so much love when I was a kid. I’m a lot like her with my kids. I know why now that I’m an adult. I was the little guy that filled the void between the love she wasn’t getting from my dad. My dad, God bless the agnostic. He just didn’t have the love to give.
The book “The Secret” has a mental exercise to lift your spirits when you’re down. I’ve done this for years myself. The Secret calls it “secret shifters”. What you do is recall a circumstance or event in your life that makes you feel happy.
One of my “shifters” happened a couple weeks after my wife and I split up. Eli and I painted his little sisters room to surprise her. We painted it pink. When we were done I gave Eli the job of cleaning the brush, roller and pan in the bath tub with warm water. He turned a 5 minute job into about a half an hour worth of work. When I went in to check on him I asked him what was taking so long. He turns to me with a serious look in his eyes and says, “Dad, I have to get ALL of this pink paint off of this stuff. I didn’t want your buddies to see it.” God bless him. He thought that if my guy friends saw any pink paint on my stuff that they would think I’m weird or something. He was just trying to protect me. When I think about that it always makes me smile.
My other favorite story about Eli happened when he was learning to talk. We were getting ready to eat dinner in front of the t.v. and Elias said scullovelie. I’m like WHAT? He says scullovelie again. I still didn’t understand what he wanted. He said it 3 or 4 more times, each time getting a little louder, madder, and more intense, Then he said, “I wanna watch the scullovelie channel”. He just loved the discovery channel when he was little and that was what he was trying to say. That was so cute, I will never forget it.
Elias is the same age as John Travolta and Kelly Preston’s son. Even though I wish I was closer to my son at least he is still alive, I understand how hard it can be to be a teenager and I know he is searching for his identity. I will always be here for you Elias with all of the unconditional love I have to give. For John and Kelly, I am very sad for your loss and I can’t imagine what you both must be going through. To hell with the scrutiny of the press, your both very loving parents. One thing no one can ever take away from us parents are the precious memories we are blessed with from our children.