Finished Moving in Jan. 2016

I travelled about 70 miles to a city I had left in 2013. I arrived a few minutes past noon to check into a hotel I lived in for about a year and a half. It was the latest residence I had the last time I was there. The circumstances that bring me here are a little different but similar. I was given the opportunity to inspect 3 rooms that were vacant but known to be in good condition. The first room had roaches, the second was still occupied, which left the final room. I had hoped the room would be as nice as the one I lived in when I was last there. That room was not 5-star, but it was livable.

I inspected this new room and I immediately recognized it was different from what I expected. Given the 2 prior rooms I had reviewed, I decided to go with it as decisively. I went ahead and paid 90% of my savings to occupy the room for the next few weeks. Everything was finalized regarding that and so it was time to decide how I would transfer my belongings.

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I sat down in the chair by the door and looked at the room again. I couldn’t get up. The drive to survive kind of propelled me to this moment. I sat there, looked at the walls with the obvious signs of water residue. I couldn’t ignore the smell. Then there was the marks on the walls, the stains that reminded me of urine. The cracked areas around the sink and the possibility of mold and condensation in the ceiling above the shower. A specific emotion was building up in me. Continue reading

Broken Internet in a Big City

I am in a new city today and my mobile hotspot doesn’t do 4G Internet any longer. I am in a city dominated by AT&T and it appears my alternative carrier is not on the list of carriers that can readily connect on 4G. I had to travel 30 minutes across town just to use my mobile hotspot at 2G speeds. It seems I will have to get used to using the Internet less often.

Recalling an Otherwise Ordinary Day

Three years ago, near the end of the street shown on the picture below, by where the trees converge on the horizon, I was taking my calzone order back to my hotel. The turn at center of the road was fairly straightforward. Look for oncoming cars, if the coast is clear, make the turn. One day, I fatefully failed to see a blazing fast red car that collided with my small green vehicle. Fortunately, I was going about 5 mph and suffered a simple rotation. No one was hurt, but the car was declare a total loss. Many interesting events followed that. As I look down the road where the trees intersect the road, it is a good reminder of how dramatic life can change in a single event.

I was at this spot because there was a conveniently placed eatery where I decided to get some food. I looked down the road and realized my personal history here. I left the eatery, went to donate some clothes to the Salvation Army. When I came back by on my way elsewhere, I noticed traffic had slowed. Today, on the hour after I took the picture below 4 cars collided in the location to my left (not shown in the photo). No one appeared hurt. One went into the side of the road, another on the other side of the road, and the other two about joined at the hip. A very dangerous road indeed.

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Struggling to Live in America

Sometime after 1 a.m., I slept in my car. The reason is the lease on the apartment I resided in for the past year ended today. The keys to the apartment were turned in Friday as that was the last business day of the month for the leasing office. I spent a few brief hours Fri. night on a couch at a relative’s house after I got off of work. I was to return to this place last night, but I arrived too late. They were sleep and I could not get in. Continue reading

Two Conflicted Forecasts for 2016 Economy

A few economists cited in a pair of articles about the economy have given measured thoughts about economic growth. The summary seems to be that some economists think more people are going to buy things at Wal-mart, Costco, Khols, Harbor Freight, and other retailers (in-store and online). They hope people will go shopping. The thought is the 2016 shopping traffic will be good for the economy and they hope people will spend more.

At the same time, they see that people are holding onto their money more than they have in the past. People are more careful with their cash in the current economic climate. Still, they have place most of their hopes in the consumer spending.

Businesses are creating jobs and hiring people, but new jobs and hiring just isn’t growing as much as expected. Based on the analysis, businesses are cutting back and US businesses are having problems selling stuff in other countries. On the other hand, companies in other countries are bringing products into the US at a far greater discount. Industrial US business, except for consumer driven industries, has some challenges. According to the reports.

All said, there may be less growth in high-flying jobs (what was called white-collar) over the next few years. Other types of jobs however may decide the fate of consumer driven economics in the near term. At the same time, you have younger generations who are more savvy with technology in terms of side businesses. They are less tied down by traditional constraints on employment. The changing nature of the automation (across all sectors) and those areas where durable value exists seem to be the pillars of fortune going forward.

MSN (1/29/2016) | Economic growth cools as consumers temper spending

MSN (1/30/2016) | Tale of two economies as Americans thrive, companies dive

MSN (1/29/2016) | Why millennials want to quit their jobs