Thursday, January 28, 2016

‘Tis better to be silent & be thought a grumpy ass, than to blog and remove all doubt

This is me, at 6:44 this morning.  I’m wearing earbuds that are blasting music into my ears, to drown out the hammering coming from the idiot who moved into the apartment below mine.  I think I’m going to put on my heaviest shoes & start clopping around in here!  Maybe I’ll wait till tomorrow morning, say around 5am… they don’t call me #grumpyassdoug for nothing.

One day last week I went on Facebook (to waste time, what else) and noticed a few friends had been taking one of those dumb quizzes—“How Grumpy Are You”.  Most of them had received “You’re normal!” responses to the test, displayed proudly for everyone to see. 

Anxious to show everyone I was normal too, I took the test & answered the questions as honestly as I could.  It said I was a wet blanket!


This is what I get for telling it like it is

Some friends rushed to my defense and exclaimed otherwise, but I knew the cat was outta the bag.  I suppose I’ve been walking around with a dark cloud (or wet blanket) over my head for awhile now, and while I WISH I could say that’s why i haven’t been writing that much lately, to spare everyone from Doogie Downer, the simple truth is that I am hearing cries of bear markets and global recession, and as my retirement portfolio dwindles, so does my motivation to get online & shower the world with my usual peppy banter.  I’m doomed.

apache graph

Alright, I got a little dramatic there but still…  it just seems that everyday I’m getting a wake-up call.  Yesterday I was working on my Federal & State taxes, and rubbing my hands together as everything was falling into place.  I’ve been living on savings (and some paltry dividends), but converted $13,000 from my IRA to a Roth in 2015 to meet the minimum income for my Obamacare insurance subsidies.  It worked out nicely & I even got a $69.00 Federal tax credit, but what I wasn’t counting on was the additional $1,000 tax bill I got slapped with! 

I’d previously guesstimated I’d be paying around $250 to the Feds and was correct, but I neglected to consider my local & state taxes and they want 1.50% and 3.08% of everything, meaning I’ve got to come up with another thousand bucks by April 15th.

Ouch!  My plans for a smidge more fun in 2016 are fading, fading, fading…

Okay, knock it off GrumpyDoug!  I’ve gotta keep telling myself I’d rather live with my lumpy couch for another year and tighten that belt a bit more if it means I can continue on my new career-path as a live-in hobo.  Smile  

Aw, there’s a smiley face!  Maybe I won’t turn out to be a grumpy ass after all… now I just need to knock some sense into that jerkwad in the apartment below.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Gypsies, Trumps and Thieves: finally getting around to 2016

Picasso Sophia


This is my sweet 11 year old niece Sophia.  Last week I came across this website where you can upload photos and after a 5 minute wait, see them transformed into various works of art.  You have a choice of artists and styles to choose from, can select your basic oil painting or a particular artist like Picasso.  Depending on the photo, the results can be amazing. 

This ‘Picasso’ of Sophia still  pretty much resembles her photo, but for some reason it puts me in mind of a little gypsy. 

(And if you saw all the baubles & beads this kid has, she’s ready to hop on one of those caravans!)

As long as I’m at it, here’s a ‘medium oil’ of my sister Shawn, I think this one’s my favorite:

And lastly, here’s a photo that my dad took of Mom from the early ‘60s, and Dreamscope’s trippy update.  I figure I’m probably last to the table with this stuff and it’s a standard app on everyone’s smartphone or tablet now.  But I still dig it!

Our beautiful mom, early 1960s

Getting back on topic, where was I… oh yes, the trumps & thieves.  I’m not sitting around obsessing about it, but last night on Facebook a very liberal friend & Democrat wrote “GOP, you gotta stick with Trump and show us who’s boss!”  and I quaked a little inside.  I’m sure most Dems see him as a sure way of getting Hillary or Bernie Sanders in the White House, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of ‘Big Brother’ and those weekly eviction votes.  Everytime a well-liked person was put next to the smarmy bully-douchebag as a pawn (to ensure said douche was voted out of the house), somehow things always got twisted around and it was the good guy who was sent packing instead. 

I just think there’s a lesson to be learned here from cheesy reality-tv…  Eye rolling smile 

And finally, in regards to that thieves business… my retirement portfolio is missing around 61K from it’s December balance & I hope they catch the crooks who took it!  Okay all kidding aside, I don’t think anyone saw this coming.  My first post of 2016 was originally set to be a real yawner about ‘preferred withdrawal strategies’ (as I was planning my first retirement withdrawal this month) but with things the way they are now, it just ain’t happening.  Not in January, most likely not in 2016.  Ulp.

So for the time being, I guess I’ll be getting by on my good looks. Don't tell anyone smile  Alright, just wanted to put something new on here, I’ll try to keep things a little more upbeat in the year ahead!

good looks