Sunday, May 2, 2010

Observations and I Wanna Go Home

It has certainly been an interesting week. I have been showing the house that we have for rent and doing minor repairs. Owning a home that is as old as I am presents its problems from time to time. I bought a new range at Lowe's last week. They delivered it and I thought that it would be easy to hookup, disconnect the hose from the old stove and connect the new one. No way! First, the hose flange broke off of the old hose. I trotted down to Lowe's and got the hose kit they sell. Hey, it works great if you are installing it in a newer home. This house is almost 54 years old and now the new codes don't allow the old hose. I tried every rigging connection possible and now have to find a plumber who can change out the shutoff at the wall. Go figure.
I cleaned up the yard, trimmed the trees and washed the outside of the house. Wow, what a difference that made. The house was painted inside and out three years ago using Glidden paint. It is now my paint of choice. I was able to wash the walls inside, patch the holes and paint them and it all matches, nobody knows the difference and the best part there is no paint splatter using a roller.
I have shown the house to lots of people. Amazing what you learn about human beings; how they live, work and play and what their lifestyles are like. Here we are in the 21st century and people are still having 5 and 6 kids. Families pile out of the SUV and into the house and I am wondering how they are all going to live in a small 3 bedroom one bath house. Whatever happened to family planning? Remember the chant we had as kids; first comes love then comes marriage here comes becky with a baby carriage. Makes sense now! Not the other way around.
And of course, no one has good credit, they tell me up front when I explain that they have to fill out a credit application. You read these things once they do fill them out and wonder what kind of life do they have???? No credit, evictions, minimum wage jobs that they change from one month to the next and they complain that no one wants to hire them but don't forget they have no education just a GED. I have even been asked to lower the rent 150 dollars, blow off the last month's rent and the security deposit could be paid out over 12 months.
I think we forget how lucky we are and how good life has been to us. But then again the SO reminds me constantly that it didn't drop from the sky, we studied a lot, worked hard, saved our money and most of all treated others as we would want to be treated.
One family that I believe is a good candidate pays 1000 dollars a month for a three bedroom apartment. If you live in San Antonio in the part of town they live in, that is outrageous. Oh how I want to offer my personal finace courses to all of these people. They drive up in new SUVs, Blackberry in hand, cellphone, Ipod and don't forget the DVD screens in the car and as my dad used to say, "not a pot to piss in".
I switched yesterday for today and made it my free day. My neighbor and I went out for dinner in a well-known Mexican restaurant, El Jarro's located on Hwy 281 and Bitters Road. Great food and wonderful memories. When I was still living and working in San Antonio over by the airport and not far from El Jarro's, Becky, a friend and coworker would walk by my cubicle (I look back now and remember how miserable I was being confined to a cubicle, kind of like a cage for bad boys) and whisper over the top, "Bauer, how about a marg for lunch?". My answer was always a big "yes". We would go to lunch and bitch about work and how much we hated what was going on. The difference last night was getting the check and finding out that a margarita costs more than the food we ordered, $8.50 each. For those who are not privy to my past, I worked for a computer manufacturer. It was really one of the first Enrons. They ripped off the employees, left us with 401Ks and stock options that had dwindled down to .05 cents on the dollar. The big boys walked away with millions and their golden parachutes.
I have no regrets about my life in Mexico. I can't wait to get back home. I have to say, here it truly a lonely place for me. I want to see people on the street, walking, talking, sharing. I miss going to the market, seeing the mountains from my front yard, the good food, and all our boondocking spots that take us far away from all the problems of the world.


  1. I grinned when you mentioned your Dad's quote "not a pot to piss in"

    It brought memories of my family's expression which was "not a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of" That's the one I grew up with.
    I hope you soon find suitable tenants

    Elaine in Canada

  2. "Not a pot to piss in" is a direct result of conditioning toward behavior economics, a benefit for the elite. I once had a land-lord who took my first and last month rent as security and deposited the full amount in an interest bearing account and after a seven year lease and a home in exact if not better condition than prior to my lease refunded the entire deposit along with interest. This was not just a kind land-lord he was part of a conditioning which has served me well to this day. Those who know should show others how.

  3. dear anonymous,

    i do it all the time. i teach personal finance to mexicans who have little to show them how to have a lot.

    Do you know how much i charge them? nothing. i do it as a social service. anyone is elgible and can participate. i have many successes under my belt. i just dont brag about it.

  4. Blogger,
    I hope you were not offended, it's great that you help those less fortunate, I was just sharing a story and perspective on behavior economics, nothing more nothing less. By the way I find your blog interesting, done well.

  5. Not inviting me to happy hour would offend me :)