Friday, October 31, 2008


For those of you out there who have a touchy or rough relationship with a Father-in-Law you will appreciate my predicament.

I like my in-laws and enjoy time with them. We are living in their home at present while we help them out with some family stuff and they in turn provide us a place to stay. On the surface this seems like a good deal for both parties. On the surface....

Beneath the surface are the very different and divergent personalities, traits, habits and every day actions of the two generationally divided couples. It takes some getting used to for all parties, let me tell ya.

My Father -in- Law is retired law enforcement and has kept his cop mentality all his life. He is also losing his hearing and is at an age when he is not able to physically do what he is accustomed to doing. The combination of these traits and my own have brought some tension to the household.

My answer to this was to avoid him, not engage in too much conversation and generally just stay out of the way. I think I've been unsuccessful in my attempts. He has found fault in the way Vicki and I interact, in spite of his own marriage's dysfunction and he made sure to tell my wife. We both thought it slightly funny, since she has no compunctions about telling me to shut up or go away if I get on her nerves.

There may be a bit of projection on his part, of which I am sure, he is unaware.

Anyway, I had totally forgotten the role of son-in-law till this recent visit with my wife's parents. Now that I am reminded of it, I remember how much I dislike the position it puts you in and the family dynamics that must be dealt with in order to make a go of it.

Because I am much like my Father-in-Law in all the wrong ways, it makes it doubly difficult. That said, I wouldn't want to be any place else right now. Vicki needs to spend this time with her folks and I need to support her in that. In addition I am enjoying the experience to the best of my ability and loving the interaction with Vic's Mom and between Vic and her Mom.

The fact that two old grumpy, ex-marines have some friction in their relationship is minimal in comparison to the good being accomplished on other fronts.

How's your relationship with your In-laws?

The Daily Husband

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why are we paying Wall Street's Gambling Debts?

If you missed 60 minutes and their explanation of Credit Default Swaps and what they have done to our economy, you missed something vital to your financial interests.

Crooks and Liars has a piece on it today.

We should all be letting our congressmen and women know that we are not willing to pay these debts. The entire sum owed on the bogus CDS mess should not be payed.

People knew they were gambling. In addition they were betting on the failure of other financial entities. We outlawed the practice 100 years ago and then let it creep back in during Clinton's administration. It went crazy under Bush.

The banks and investment houses that we deem necessary to save had better use the money to help people with mortgages and foreclosures; that after all is the underlying problem with our economy. As to paying off hedge fund gambling debts; NO WAY!!!!!!!

The Daily Husband

Sunday, October 26, 2008


There exists, on the Arizona ballot this year, a proposition which is supposed to be about protecting marriage. It's one of those anti-gay things that theocrats think has a place in politics.

It is true that the state of marriage in our country is marginal. It's still a 50/50 chance you take when tying the knot. So What? For those like Vicki and I who have found a partner worth putting up with, lying next to night after night, watching them grow older before your eyes, helping with parents and children, enjoying travel and entertainment together and all the other myriad blessings of a good marriage it was well worth the gamble.

I wouldn't trade these 27 years we've been together for anything. And for 22 of them we've been married.

So... I don't see the necessity for any government intervention into defining marriage. I understand that couples ( of any sort) want equal financial and social rights, but that's certainly a secular and not religious matter.

It is hard for me to imagine what is the danger a committed relationship between two other people represents to me. I admit to not enjoying seeing men kissing, (it's my generation and raging heterosexuality I guess) but I could care less if they want to have a committed and socially recognized relationship. It's for others to figure out what to call it and if they decide to call it marriage or some legal term good for tax purposes, well good for them. It certainly won't make me any less married or mar the the good name of marriage in my eyes.

While there exists a great many things that humans do that surely should not be socially or governmentally sanctioned, I cannot believe that two humans who have been fortunate enough to build a relationship worth memorializing and legitimizing are really engaged in that kind of activity. We heteros spend too much time worrying about what the gays are up to in the bedroom and the possible bad effects on our children. Why not spend a bit more time enjoying our own relationships and let the schadenfreude go about gay relationships?

Just a thought.

The Daily Husband

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Beat goes on

In my never ending quest to conquer all maintenance chores at my in-law's place I will be replacing a damaged fluorescent fixture and its accompanying bulb. Then it's on to the guest room toilet which runs for no good reason. This usually means a bad flapper valve or seal at the tank or in the worst case, the need for replacing the guts of the unit in entirety.

I am going with the flapper valve replacement first because the flush valve is modern and the toilet is in a difficult and cramped location in which to work. (I did that sentence for Dr. John) (about the preposition I mean, not about the toilet) (I promise, no pun was intended) (REALLY)

Anyway....... As is my habit, I check pricing at both Home Depot and Lowes. While at the Home Depot, the alleged potty expert (I say alleged because he did not know that flapper valves had different width hinge fixtures and just handed me the most overpriced piece of crap he had) At the same time he asked why I was comparison shopping when I clued him to the info on flush valves and I replied "You might have heard, we're in a recession and I like to spend my money wisely." He replied "It's only a recession if you believe there's one."

I know I should have let it go, but the obvious republican/Rush Limbaugh/Faux News denial line, drew an instant response. I told him that conditions made it a recession not my awareness or belief in it. I did not ask him what he was smoking, though I should have, cause right about now (the time I'm working on my father-in-law's toilet) I could use a good toke of something green and sweet smelling.

I did not buy the overpriced item he suggested and will go back shortly to the house, drain the tank, pull the old flush valve and go to the local hardware store for a replacement. I'm betting that no one there will have the temerity to tell me the "RECESSION" is all in my head.

I am not a huge fan of Home Depot anyway because they use the company Certigy to guarantee payment when you pay them by check. Back when we were remodeling our home in North Carolina I had it out with them and took several thousand dollars of flooring business from Home Depot and gave it to Lowes. Certigy uses a computer program for check acceptance and not your actual bank balance or payment history. Pissed me off bigtime. I pretty much told them to shove it.

Since coming back to Phoenix and working on the "Rents" place I put my dislike for the "Depot" aside and shopped there as needed. It will be needed less and less I think.

OK, I have stories to read, comments to right, light fixtures to repair and toilets to flush.

Have a great weekend.

The Daily Husband

Thursday, October 23, 2008

OK, now what?

Well, we've accomplished some of our goals with Vic's parents and we think we can see the end of the tunnel. Now we need to begin the process of establishing our lives in Phoenix.

Most of the reading, research and anecdotal accounts I've researched tell me that obtaining employment at age 59 will be tough. SO......... What to do.

I've been thinking of investing a little of our diminished nest egg in a local business as a way of buying myself a job. Problem here is that most retail establishments I see are experiencing a downturn in sales. Then there's the service sector. Maybe there's some opportunity there.

I'd really love to be involved in a manufacturing effort. But most take way more capital than we possess.

Still, there has to be something I can do. We don't believe that Vicki will have a problem getting work. The only thing with her job is to get one close that pays well.

Today seems like an excellent time to explore whats out there. The internet has some obvious advantages over knocking on doors, though I'm not above doing that as well.

We mailed our ballots today with plenty of extra postage so there is no chance of them not getting there.

Hope you all get a chance to get out and cast a ballot.

The Daily Husband

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cool comes to my baby

As I reported yesterday I turned my back on my old tinting shop when they failed to provide the level of customer service I sought. Instead a nice fellow by the name of Gilbert showed up this morning and did the work at my in-law's place.

Here are a couple of pictures of him working. He turned out to be a world traveller and an excellent tint installer. In addition, I saved $80 and had the work done at home. Very cool; yes, a pun is intended.

Now if I can just remember to not operate the windows for a couple of days all will be well. I can already tell the difference in the car. I know to those of you in the east it may sound crazy, but in Arizona, tinting your car's windows is almost mandatory. Too much sun is not a good thing.

I am continuing my exposure to Starbucks society and met a bright young man from the local Intel plant at my local "Bucks" today. We had a long talk about the markets, his company, worthless stock options, housing and foreclosures and lots of political stuff.

He introduced me to a website about a new form of living and culture. It is The Venus Project. If you get a chance, jump on over there and check out some innovative ideas about how to live better.

Things with the "Rents" are going pretty good. Vic and I tackle a project a day and help where and when we can. Later today I will be investigating their irrigation system and its timer. Should be interesting.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Made up and Stayed up

OK, so the new opener is in and operating. Vic and I are on speaking terms again. I was supposed to get tint on the windows of our car today, but the shop pissed me off and I decided to use somebody else.

Without getting into a lot of boring detail about a petty incident, let me say this.
"Any conversation a business has with a dissatisfied customer needs to be about the customer, not about the business." If you have crummy customer service, or employees that think they're doing your customer a favor by taking their money and providing the product or service the customer is paying for; well, then your business is going to have a problem in this recession.

Folks are going to stop spending money with you and look for a place that appreciates their business. Word to the wise; be nice to the people who spend money with you.

On another entirely different note: It seems I am becoming a part of Starbucks society. I am not sure that's a good thing though. This morning, after canceling my install with the shmucks, I stopped to get online and research tinting shops at a "Bucks" new to me. While there, a guy next to me hooked me up with a deal on tinting and I'll find out tomorrow just how good the deal is.

I also met a very nice lady who is on the faculty at University of Phoenix. We chatted amiably for a while about the economy, the housing market, and business in general. It was a very pleasant experience. And nice to hear from someone else how badly they feel our country has been governed.

Vicki and I spent some time today discussing what we would be doing with and for her folks. There is a need for diplomacy here which I lack. It will be up to Vic to take care of that end. I will focus on giving her a second opinion and doing what I can around the in-law's place to make their life easier, safer and more secure.

It seems when we get to talking about this stuff we can become passionate and edgy. I find myself apologizing many times during our conversations and reassuring her that my intention is to help her and not pressure her. On this count I have been only partly successful. My temporary solution is to make a conscious effort to shut up for a while.

Anyone who has read my blogs will appreciate how hard that is for me. I have at least one and sometimes several opinions about almost everything. Not a good trait for a husband; at least not for a husband who wants to enjoy the delights of marital bliss on a regular basis.


The Daily Husband

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Our first fight at the "Rents"

We are currently staying with my wife's parents. They are in their late 70's. They are wonderful people. They are, like most folks of that generation, quite unique and true to themselves.

That being said; my wife and I are attempting to bring some help to them in the form of organization, financial advise, and household maintenance. While my wife excels at all these things, there are certain things left to me. One of those things is garage door openers.

Within the first few days at Vicki's parents it became apparent that their garage door opener was on the frtiz. Since I actually worked on them professionally for two years I felt duty bound to fix it. Turns out that the opener is just old enough and requires just enough parts and labor that a new one is a better option. I had hoped to baby the old one along till Monday, but as life would have it that was not to be. It gave up the ghost today and in doing so presented me with a difficult and dangerous problem.

The limiter switches which control the up and down movement finally died today and left the opener with severe and potentially deadly tension on the cable that is attached to the chain. I ended up on top of my father-in-law's car undoing this mess, cussing my plight somewhat and keeping my head down in case the damn cable broke and tried to take my head off. At this very moment my beautiful spouse came out and attempted to give me advice as to how to proceed. I didn't react to that well and the resulting words were short, curt, profane and ended in her storming out of the garage and not talking to me.

Rather than attempt any more conversation I drove to Lowe's, purchased a new opener, some new rollers and a bar to be used to turn the springs when I balance and adjust the garage door. I am now at the Starbucks a few blocks from the "Rents" house and will finish this post before I return to ground zero. There are a lot more things going on here than just what we fought about and I hope tonight we might talk it out. I've learned to leave things alone with Vic for a while, otherwise it gets way worse before it gets better.

Tomorrow we will visit our old church and then I will install a new opener and tune up my in-law's garage door. I am also hopeful that Vicki and I will make up.

Wish me luck!

The Daily Husband

Friday, October 17, 2008

Class Warfare? Yea and we lost.

One of the biggest lies in republican propaganda is that we have high taxes for the rich and taxing them anymore amounts to class warfare. Well, maybe it does, but wouldn't it be nice to win a round every now and then?

Look what's happening today, right this minute. Our government is engaged in spending BILLIONS of DOLLARS $$$$$$ to bail out those who rode high on the hog this last 8 years. We're talking about folks with salaries and bonuses of over a million bucks a year.

These poor soul's businesses that packaged, massaged and misrepresented bad loans to banks, investment houses and unwitting consumers, now wants us to make it all better. Forget millions of foreclosures, forget the millions of jobs lost during BushCo's term and God Almighty, forget that we cut taxes on all the greedy bastards so they could keep more of their ill gotten gains.

As my favorite broadcaster Jon Stewart puts it: well Holy Fuck! What more do they want of us? The answer of course is everything. We are infected with a large group of people who feel entitled to rip us off, scoff at our work ethic, and generally screw up our economy with impunity. No matter how we fix this thing I will never be content till as many of these dillweeds go to jail and pay back what ever money they obtained from these practices.

CEO compensation reform be damned. I am interested in CEO, COO, and Broker, salesman, etc.... incarceration. At some point in our history we need to stop forgiving white collar criminals just because they managed to take us for so much money and get Medieval on their asses!

The Daily Husband

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Has anybody seen my old friend John?

Like many who are concerned with the future of our country, I watched the third and final debate last night. I listened as McCain hammered away about nonsense and both candidates danced around how they'll handle the huge mess and bigger deficit that will be left them by George W. (worst president ever) Bush.

I will still vote for Obama. Nothing said last night changed my mind. What amazes me is that there are still undecided voters. Why? Is there truly a question about letting the republicans craft any more dangerous and disastrous policy?

I am realistic and cynical enough to know that Obama will not be able to do miracles. His options will be severely limited. In addition, the right wing will immediately act to undercut his authority and effectiveness. Imagine it like the invasion of Iraq; Saddam's people knew they'd lose the war, but counted on an insurgency that lasted indefinitely. The republicans and more importantly the money people behind them do not want a return to stricter times. The last thing these modern day robber barons would like is to be scrutinized, caught, prosecuted and imprisoned for their crimes.

My father-in-law and I discussed the possibility of Obama losing simply because he is black. I am sad to say the potential for that happening is there. When I view the poll numbers the undecided ones scare me. Those seem to be the folks holding out for McCain to finally do something, anything really, that would help them justify in their little bitty bigoted minds, not voting for Obama.

This election is not only a referendum on 8 years of failed policy and governance by BushCo, but also a referendum on how far we've come in our society. If Obama loses this election it will say to me that all the long decades of civil rights have been meaningless, at least when it comes to the top job in our government. If that happens it will expose a level of hypocrisy and bigotry not believed to be the norm in our society.

I remain hopeful that Obama will win and win big. A mandate to fix this crappy situation would be nice. Then I will pray most fervently that Barack H. Obama will be up to the task at hand.

Because last night, in the last debate, I watched the devolution of a man who once had my respect. John McCain is a proven war hero and has served his country. How well he has served may be up for discussion, but the man has devoted his career to public service. He seemed so far removed from reality and so unable to calmly, thoughtfully present a reason to vote for him instead of Obama, that many felt sorry for the man. Should he lose this election, and I pray that he will, I wonder if he'll look back at his bevy of bad decisions, his appalling choice of running mate and the awkward, angry and way too negative campaign and understand what he did wrong.

He could have been something if he'd been elected in 2000 instead of the idiot. Last night I learned (sadly) why he couldn't beat George in the primaries. Too bad, so sad, so long John.


Has anybody seen my old friend John?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Listen to your Father - In - Law

Vicki and I are living with her parents for a while. They are great people who have watched the country get whacky and wonder why, how, and when will it stop.

At breakfast this morning my father-in-law stated that he didn't like the idea of bailing out people who couldn't pay their mortgages. I said that we would really be helping them keep their homes and pay less in mortgage payments. His reply was what's the government going to do for him. "If the fucking government is giving away money then I want some of it" was his sentiment.

I am afraid a lot of seniors or elders as Ronni Bennett at Times Goes By calls them might feel that way.

Here's the thing. We have already committed to spending at least 700 billion dollars in the finance industry. Wouldn't it be nice if some of that actually went towards stopping foreclosures and keeping people in their homes?

My belief is that is a certain amount of schadenfreude is going on with folks over the mortgage mess. OK, I get that, but in the end none of us really wants a country where millions walk away from their homes. The economic displacement and social consequences are not pretty. Yet we may well see many millions of folks lose their homes.

How about some economic triage? Couldn't we get to those most in need first and help them with some of this 700 billion dollars. At the point we're giving money to banks to cover bad paper, are we really helping the mortgage holders at all? Or are we just helping investors with more money than sense?

A scary, conspiracy inspired thought occurred to me during the last few days.

What if Bush is really just the stalking horse for the New World Order? After all he's managed to bring down the world economy and most nations have now nationalized their banks, in essence insuring the fat cats will be protected. Again, it's just a thought, but wouldn't that be the pits; Bush, the so-called conservative being the actor who socializes the world?

Far out; you bet. Crazy talk; maybe. Still, it makes you wonder how a dumbass psuedo cowboy, Yalie, ex-Texas governor ever got to be president of our country and father the worst administration and worst results since the great depression.

Now they want to have a Right-wingnut VP within a heart attack of being president. The republicans have truly jumped the shark on this one.

The Daily Husband

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We made it

A view of the San Fransisco Peaks from 38 miles away. The peaks are over 11,000 feet high. We once lived in Flagstaff at their feet.

For those keeping track we made it to Arizona in one piece. Vicki and I spent most of yesterday afternoon unloading a moving van (just ten feet of one) with helpers into a storage unit in Chandler, AZ a southern suburb of Phoenix.

We're staying with Vicki's folks, enjoying the great weather in Arizona in the fall, helping them around their house and starting to think about jobs, a rental house and stuff like that.

In the meantime I'm posting from a Starbucks a couple of blocks from the In-Law's house. I read a lot of my reader's blogs today and everyone is rightly concerned with the nasty, racial, hate-filled tone of the McCain/Palin bunch. If you want the definition of bigot, just look up Palin in the dictionary. It almost seems as if they mean to revive the KKK.

We've let our country swing so far right that I listened at breakfast this morning to a member of my In-Law's church describe the Arizona Republic ( a noted right wing rag for 60 years) as too far left for him. Really?

At the same table another gentleman told me that he considered all democrats unpatriotic. Wow? And these folks are going to vote. If we speak again without the wives present I will ask this man point blank if he thinks electing an ignorant twit like Sarah Palin is patriotic.

Oh well, this state has always been a repugnant stronghold and it's not likely to change. Still, it would be nice to hear someone with some sense. Oh, and I did. My father-in-law totally gets it. He thinks Bush, the republicans and our government in general has sold us all down the river. Amen to that!

So I guess the good news is that he and I won't be having any heated political arguments while we're staying with them.

It cooled off enough yesterday that we had a fire in their backyard firepit and watched the almost full moon last night. I smoked a celebratory cigar and downed some brewskies after a day of moving furniture. All is well.

The Daily Husband

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Awesome Enid Grandkids

Now most of you who have read my blog know that I tend to like adults more than kids. We had 5 in the house at one time for a while and I pretty much had my fill of children. Yet I never tire of my grandkids company and my two in Enid, Tristen and Bailey are a joy.

Our middle daughter Jamie and her husband Ken live here in Enid, Oklahoma with Tristen, Bailey, two dogs - Precious and Brandy and two cats - Snoball and Boots. Their home in the suburbs is a rambling rancher with room for all. We have spent two very enjoyable days here participating in their lives.

We went to Tristen's football practice one night. (Pictured below)

Then to a football game the next. His team, the Plainsmen, won 34 to 0. Tristen played quarterback and end. He threw a touchdown pass from the end position on a trick play and ran the team for two more touchdown drives. I was impressed at the level of play for what to an adult looked like midgets playing football.

That's Tristen at Quarterback!

We had a really great time at the game, then came back to have birthday cake for a late birthday celebration for Bailey.

Today we brought the kids over to the pool here at the hotel and enjoyed some swimming in the indoor pool.

We always enjoy ourselves in Enid. The place has that small town feel, that touch of Americana that reminds you what most of our country used to be like. And of course for us it's the chance to spend some time and visit with our awesome Enid grandkids.

My daughters continue to amaze and impress me with their families and children. This is one of the benefits of staying alive long enough to watch your kids raise their families.

The Daily Husband

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When Right is Wrong!

I have said that this election is about having the courage to vote for a black man as president. Some commenters have argued that it's not. I'm glad someone else has said what needs to be said to all the closet bigots and crackers out there who would do our country the great disservice of perpetuating republican rule and therefore rampant republican corruption by electing McCain/Palin. Just because they can't bring themselves to vote for a person of color.


My thanks to Lisa at Politics after 50 for posting this video today on her blog.

This year my friends is when we have seen just how wrong the right can be.

The Daily Husband Husband

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Myrtle Beach

We made it. The house closing went smoothly and we got out of Dodge in good fashion. We rolled into Myrtle Beach around 10:30 last night and it only took us 15 minutes to find the Ocean and our hotel.

Vic is upstairs finishing getting ready and I thought I'd write a quick post and put up a couple of pictures taken from our balcony. I love the ocean and it's a great feeling when you wake up to a sea view.

Today will be filled with nothing and everything. Ah, the life of a gypsy.

The Daily Husband