One Eyed Jack

Posted September 5, 2008 by Regular Joe
Categories: Economy, Finance

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Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, my brother and I spent many road trips in the back of my mother’s station wagon. Booster seats didn’t exist, there were no such thing as air bags and seat belts were just something you tucked into the crack of the seat to get them out of the way. We were simply tossed into the back cargo area like loosely packed groceries.

There were no handheld gaming devices or cell phones – we had one of those primitive triangular peg board puzzle games and the Rubic’s Cube.  Most of the time we would just sit back there and watch the other cars.  Like many kids on long trips we found amusement in waving to anyone who would wave back, signaling truck drivers to blow their horns… but, our favorite pass time was One Eyed Jack.

If you were playing One Eyed Jack, you had your nose pressed against the window and would once-over every car driving on the road… the shiny cars, the dirty cars, the new cars, the old cars, the fancy Cadillac’s and the dilapidated rust buckets. What you were looking for was a car with a broken Read the rest of this post »

Your House As Seen By…

Posted September 5, 2008 by Econoclast
Categories: Economy, Finance

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As Seen by Yourself

As Seen by Your Buyer

As Seen by Your Buyer

As seen by Your Lender

As seen by Your Lender

As Seen by Your Appraiser

As Seen by Your Appraiser

As Seen by Your Tax Assessor

As Seen by Your Tax Assessor

Virtual Childhood

Posted September 4, 2008 by Regular Joe
Categories: Back to Basics

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Sitting by the window at Lorenzo’s, my local Italian restaurant, I watched as a man with no disability pulled his black Range Rover into the handicapped spot by the front door.  He and his wife got out of the truck and opened the rear passenger door where their son emerged.  The little boy couldn’t have been more that 8 years old and managed to make his way from the back seat of Daddy’s car, all the way to the table next to mine, where they were seated for dinner, never taking his eye’s off of his Gameboy.

Technology lacks the depth that feeds our souls.  When the children of today grow up and enter their 30’s, 40’s even their 80’s, it’s not going to be the Xbox, the Blue Ray disc player or the sixty inch plasma in the family room they had as a kid that gave them character.

Explore nature.  Go for a walk in the park, take hour long hikes in the forest -be sure to check under every rock along the way. Search for frogs, lizards, snakes and anything else you can find.  Go bug hunting.  If you’re lucky enough to come across a stream, kick off your shoes and appreciate the crisp cool water as you wade through it.  Go Camping, take them fishing and have picnics in the grass. Teach your children how to skip stones.  

These are the gifts that count, the ones that can be passed down from generation to generation – but you have to take the time.  It’s too easy to get home from work, pop in the latest Disney DVD in order to keep the little guys busy while you sit in front of your PC and recap your brokerage account.  

I’ve got nothing against Range Rovers, Plasma TV’s or video games but make sure your children realize that those are mere extras in life and not the things needed for happiness.  I know too many people who spend so much time trying to keep up with the Jones’s, that they lose sight of the things that truly matter.  Life is about the simple things.

When your kids get older and move out on there own, some of them my achieve financial success, some may not.  Some children will make it big, but then lose everything.  Money may come and money may go, but there will always be mountains to climb, streams to fish and trails to hike.  If you can teach your children to love and appreciate nature, then you have given them valuable memories of time spent with you in the great outdoors that won’t be forgotten, can never be taken away and can someday be shared with their own children.

-Regular Joe

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” -Charles Haddon Spurgeon

All Summer Long

Posted August 24, 2008 by Regular Joe
Categories: Music

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If have any appreciation for southern rock, bands like the Allman Brothers, the Charlie Daniels Band or Lynryd Skynyrd then you will absolutely love Kid Rock’s instant classic “All Summer Long” from his new album Rock and Roll Jesus.

Robert Richie (Kid Rock), is undeniably true to his cowboy reputation and is the poster child for white trash, sex, drugs and rock and roll.  That being said, Kid Rock could be one the most underrated talents making music today.  Kid Rock’s music is a blend of punk rock, southern rock, hip hop and at times manages to give his sound a bluesy – jazzy feel.   

Make no mistake, some of Kid Rock’s songs from past and present could be some of the most offensive lyrics of all time, but the guy’s just playing up to his American bad ass reputation. 

While the media continues to exploit his relationship with his ex-wife, Pamela Anderson, his Waffle House arrest and his anger management issues, Kid Rock, having sold over 25 million albums, continues to make music and produce record breaking albums.

Kid Rock with his in your face approach, strong voice and unique ability to blend genres has been able toexpand his listening audience from the back woods/trailer park trash/dirty needle delinquents of detroit, louisiana and mississippi to the top of international pop charts.  

Rock continues to boycott iTunes, refuses to allow his music to be sold there and argues the artists aren’t getting compensated fairly on those sales.  Ironically, Kid doesn’t mind people downloading his albums illegally as long as they buy tickets to his concerts.  Even without the help of iTunes, sales of Kid Rock’s latest album, Rock and Roll Jesus, have surged 12% this week, climbing from 4 to 3 internationally.

Get the album, listen to it completely (preferably real loud while driving down a long country road) and by the time it’s over – you’ll be a fan.

Be sure to listen to “Half Your Age” on track 11.  It’s classic.

Rock on,  

Regular Joe