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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

I attended the viewing on Tuesday and the Funeral tonight for Ian Hinkle, my cousins son who passed away suddenly from complications of N1H1.  At the viewing there was an endless stream of teenagers, all crying both the boys and girls. Someone made the comment that you could see fear on their faces as they waited to walk pass the casket. There was a line from 5pm until 9pm and this is a small town. I believe almost everyone from the high school attended. His long distance girlfriend who he met online drove in all the way from Indiana. This is the first time they saw each other face to face.

Tonight was the funeral which was more a celebration of life service. There was a chorus from his high school, a band calling themselves “Ian’s Angels” and an acoustic guitar duo who wrote a song for him. The band played a spot on version of “I wish you were here” by Pink Floyd. Everyone lost it at that point. It ended with a power point presentation to honor him that his classmates put together. It included accolades from the kids and the staff at his school.  There were also about 15 kids who got up and gave personal testimony to their relationship with Ian. It was beautiful. Everyone said he was the greatest kid who never said a bad thing about anyone, and who would go out of his way to help everyone. Also that he put 110% into everything he tried from sports to music, to academics. My cousin, his father said tonight that the only thing that keep him going is the thought that God must have some higher purpose for Ian. Many of the kids said that this made them realize they need to put away the petty differences and look at the big picture. That they will be better people to honor him.

I wish I had known him more. I only really met him and clicked with him this past September. We had much in common. He loved the drums and history. He wanted to be a history major. We could have talked for hours.

They had him cremated because they wanted him at home, not in the ground. In fact his Dad, Mom, and sister all got a locket with a little bit of his ashes in it, to hold next to their heart.

I’ve been to many, many funerals. I have to go to another one tomorrow at 9am. I’ve seen people taken before their time, My Mom included, but this was the most touching and saddest I’ve ever been to. But also the most heartfelt and lovingly remembered.

After seeing the outpouring of love from his friends and classmates his father got up and said through choked back tears “I have been feeling totally lost and hopeless over this, but this tonight gives me some hope, Thank you all.”

Last, in a selfish way, or soul searching way it made me think, “Who would be there for me, and what would they say?” I need to get out there and touch more lives and be more positive. Since my injury I have been in a self imposed exile. The internet makes it easy to think you are well connected, but in reality your not.

I certainly left feeling I wish I had known him better.  Spiney

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After busting on Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol for the past year. Saying Sarah looked like a slutty stewardess, and joking about A-rod of the NY Yankees knocking up her daughter it is good to see him get a taste of his own medicine last night. He confessed to multiple sexual affairs with multiple female employees because he was responding to a blackmail charge. He made a joke out of it, but here a married man with a child confessed to this. People in glass houses…   That’s what Spiney thinks, what do you think?

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I listened to an economist the other day on a business news channel who said that basically the prosperity of the last decade was all a lie.  A lie built on credit. People borrowed money they didn’t have to buy houses and cars and stock they really couldn’t afford.  This happened with corporations and investors too who bought stock, that made the stock market rise. They saw the stock market and the real estate markets as an ever growing thing where you couldn’t lose. The only way you lost was if you weren’t in the game. So you borrowed to buy more. It was a  No Brainer borrow at 7% to buy into a market that was going up 10-12% a year.  And the real estate market in some areas was going up 20% a year.  But then when the credit market tightened up and you could no longer get easy credit, it all came falling in.  People who got loans just because they had a pulse and said they had good jobs, maybe they did, but in many cases they overstated their income, started to default on their loans.  All during this time you had average citizens who wanted to catch up with the Jonses, fast. It may have took their neighbors 4-6 years in college and hard work to get where they were.  Or their parents many decades of sacrifice to have the nice home in the suburbs.  But why wait with EZ credit you could have it now.  And why stop at one home, how nice it would be to have a rental property or a vacation home at the shore or the mountains, just sign here, maybe take a second mortgage out on that home you bought 2 years ago with 0-5% down.  If you couldn’t afford a vacation home then at least a Time Share. You know the one where you took the free 3 day vacation and they wore you down into buying a time share.  Seemed like a great idea then didn’t it.  And hey having a decent car isn’t good enough, you need some real wheels, a BMW, Hummer, or at least a Caddy. don’t have the down payment on that new or second car, no problem, you can Lease it. Just don’t drive more than 12,000 miles a year or scratch and dirty it.  While your at it throw in a motorcycle, or a boat.  And the kids, they got to have what every other kid has.  The latest PS3, a Cell Phone with all the bells and whistles by age 10 and not just an mp3 player that would be embarrassing, it has to be an Ipod. The whole family can have cell phones just sign up for the family plan and get 5 free phones, just pay the big monthly fee.  The big games coming up, have a TV under 30″, that’s just too hard on the eyes. To really enjoy the game and life in my house in the burbs I need to have at least 50″ plasma. No money no problem, no payments for 12 months or go down to Rent-a-Center only $35 a week.  And while your at it for just $10K in easy installments you can have perfect breasts and pearly white teeth.  Why not I’ve got a wallet full of credit cards.  The majority of people lived way beyond their means.  But they had all the toys.

They say we may recover back to were we were in about 3-5 years. Personally I hope we never get back there. I hope that this time has the effect on our generation that the depression and WWII had on our grandparents and parents. What I mean by that is that we get a new respect for saving, for getting by with less, and for using cash, not credit to get what we need and want.  To realize there is no shame in driving a car more than 3 years old, or renting a home. I’ve driven used cars the majority of my life, and also rented homes and apartments the majority of my life.  Yes I have owned a home, bought 2 new cars, and made the big mistake of leasing a new Saab. I can tell you there is something to be said about not having a car payment every month or being a renter. The nice thing when you rent is when the roof leaks or the heater fails you call the landlord, not the repairman. Helps you to sleep at night.  Spiney

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The President announced yet another bail out package. This one is to help people who are in danger of losing their homes.  Many, and I will agree not all, are in this position because they bought a home that was way more expensive than the could afford. Many Americans who have done the right thing, bought houses they could afford, didn’t lie on their applications, or are renters are very mad that they will be paying to bailout people who tried to live beyond their means.

Many people did this with buying too big homes, leasing or buying cars they couldn’t afford, and buying many items: large screen TV’s, computers etc with credit cards. Now the cars have been repossessed, their behind on the credit card payments, and the houses are in foreclosure. I’m sorry but I don’t feel sorry for these people. I feel sorry for their children, but not them  I’ll tell you why. I owned a house once.  When I bought it in 1985 I bought the cheapest home I could find. It was a real fixer upper at $37,500. I got an old fashion mortgage at 30 years and 13.8% interest.  I made a 10% down payment and had to give blood to get the mortgage. At the time they would not give you a mortgage for more than 25% of your income. And you had to give blood, your right arm, and first born to get that mortgage. And they really made you sweat it. You applied and maybe 2-3 weeks later you found out if you were approved.

Now the people who are in these houses bought houses way over their head. Many times homes in the $150-200,000 price tag or more. They got in with mortgages with anywhere from 5% down to No money down.  In many cases they didn’t have to prove their income, debts, or credit score.  It was reported that in many cases all they had to do was have a pulse.  also many got in over their head by getting new fangled mortgages.  Many were adjustable mortgages. Mortgages that started at a very low affordable monthly bill, based on a low interest rate of say 3.5%.  But after a year or two, they ramped up to the current interest rates, or even higher. It was then that the real cost of that house hit home and they couldn’t afford it.  This was the real l payments for a $150K home.  Payments went from $395 a month to $995 a month overnight.  Other mortgages were interest only for the first few years, and other creative financing types to sell a home to anyone who wanted one.  That is how these huge developments grew up on our farmlands overnight. Now these people want the government to bail them out and let them keep their houses. But they are way over their heads, and no matter what the government does, they can’t afford these homes.

Here is how I did it.  I did own a home for a short stint, only 5 years. Due to a divorce we sold it to settle up.  From that point on I rented.  My first rental was a room, yes just one room a woman was renting out in her house. I think I paid $175 a month for that room and shared bathroom privileges.  Then I rented apartments. The highest I ever paid was $550 a month for a 2 bedroom apartment. I lived within my means.  I bought and drove used cars, and I drove them until the wheels fell off.  My current wife and I had a business for 15 years. during those times we rented studio space. We were tempted by nice big spaces, but we knew we couldn’t afford them, so we passed on them and again, we Stayed within our means.  At one point due to my health, 3 back and 1 neck surgeries, we had to file bankruptcy. We were offered a loan, that would have kept us out of bankruptcy. We got as far as sitting with the loan officer. At that point my Wife and I looked at each other, realized it was only a band-aid, and we couldn’t pay it back. So we walked away without getting the loan. We did the responsible thing.

To this day we rent. In fact we share a home with my wife’s mom. This helps her because she is a widow, and helps us. Even though my wife now has a well paying career we rent  and both drive used cars. Mine a 1991 pickup I inherited from my Dad, and my wife a 98 Volvo wagon, the nicest car we ever owned.  We have no debt, we pay cash for everything, no credit cards.  And we go on vacations, have computers and a laptop, and yes even a big screen TV. We saved and paid cash for all of them. It can be done it you save for it, and don’t have to have it NOW!

So I don’t think that we and other Americans who did it the right way, pay their mortgages on time etc should have to pay to bail out those who lied about their income and lied to themselves in order to have their dream home. I’m not being mean, I don’t want to see them fail. But They need to be in housing they can afford. A smaller home or an apartment. I never felt ashamed to be a renter. I was damn glad to have a roof over my head. And I was able to sleep at night knowing I could afford the monthly rent payments.  And I did whatever it took to keep that roof over our heads. My Wife and I had the studio, but I also worked driving all night as a courier, washed cars at a car rental agency, you name it. Did I like washing cars? no I was 39 and the other people were mostly high school drop outs. But I could look my landlord in the eye every month and hand him the rent. I did the right thing.

So how about you. Do you think we should spend billions to bail out people, maybe your neighbors so they can stay in their dream house? All courtesy of your and mine taxes, from our hard work. Please comment and let me know.  Thanks, Spiney Dave

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The media is and has been biased for years always depicting men as the snorers and woman as those who suffer listening to their man snore.  Well I came home tonight after everyone else had gone to bed.  My Wife is snoring, like she does every-night. My Mother-in-law in the next room, just on the other-side of the wall is snoring.  And the cat, a male is snoring.  Now if pushed for an honest answer my wife will tell you on average I don’t snore.  It also be because I rarely sleep.  She would also tell you that I love her very much, but I do say “She snores like a water buffalo”.  I often nudge her asking her to roll over, use nose drops you name it something to make it stop.  Think of all of the commercials and magazine adds for snoring treatment, that mouth-guard you have to wear, the Breath-right strips, and the sprays. They all show men, usually overweight dopey looking men with hot disgusted looking wives with pillows over their ears.  Well this is all biased prejudice. I have it on good authority having been raised by a mom, married more than once, raised a daughter, having dated several women of all stripes, and now living with my wife and mother-in-law. Women snore, burp, fart even if they’re SBD’s, make foul noises in the bathroom, hiccup, and curse just like men. We are not the only practitioners of the foul arts.  Spiney

If you have been wrongfully accused of snoring, or put down for making other body noises by your significant other, spiney wants to hear from you.

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You need to photograph those you love no matter how adamant they are against it.  And have Them photograph You .  I just came from a funeral.  A sad event a father and husband cut down in his prime.  He was a very involved Father of twins,  a husband, a Son, a  Brother, an Uncle, a Friend and a prominent member of the community. In his later years I’m sure he was self conscious, because of a medical condition he looked obese, but was not, he had kidney failure and other issues that just made him look that way.  At the funeral his family took the time to make up 2 very nice display collages about 20×24 each with snapshots, professional portraits, newspaper pictures showing how involved he was. You saw him with his children from birth through college. They are both in the 4th year of college and in the middle of mid-terms when their father became ill and hospitalized for 54 days. These display boards showed to all of us what we already knew, how loving and involved he was, and it was all documented there to help us remember, now that he is gone. I was proud to see an image there I did of Him, his Mom, and his Brother with my 1953 Rollieflex and an off camera Metz.  My Wife and I have been together for 19 years now. I have very few pictures of her.  She does not like to be photographed, is never happy with where she is at in her eyes, though I love her much and think she is very beautiful. In the old film days she would look through pictures I took and literally tear them up. Now in this digital age she wants me to delete them.  And While I have many pictures of my daughter, and thousands of strangers, there are very few of me. It’s the old shoemaker has no shoes problem. ( I was a pro photographer for 15 years)  Ladies How many of you are guilty of not wanting yourself photographed.  How many photographers out there have few photos of themselves, especially snapshots.  Well my wife and I had a discussion on the way home.  I told her I would no longer stand for her not wanting to be photographed. It is a very selfish position that robs me of memories, God forbid if anything were to happen.  And I recently bought her a Kodak P&S at an after Christmas sale.  I told her I expect her to start taking snaps of me.  In the end this is all we have.  This poor man had deteriorated so bad during the 54 days that they had to have a closed casket.  Thank God he was a Bank President and had a very nice professional portrait to display on top of his casket.  So please don’t be selfish or inatentive.  Photograph all of your loved ones, especially your spouse, even in the morning before they make themselfs beautiful, and Spouses photograph your photographers so your not left without precious memories. It’s not too late.  Start right now!   Peace be with you,  Spiney-Dave

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