Friday, May 01, 2009

The Other Foot Finally Falls

Well, I've been called a pessimist in the past for my outlook on the world these days, although I prefer realist, but no matter the label, my worst fears once again came true last Thursday, the 23rd, when the job came to an end and I became another one of the great unwashed and unemployed.
I knew it was a possibilty since the first of the year, but pessimist or not I had a tiny bit of hope I was holding onto until the night of the 22nd when the 6oclock news announced that due to a 47% reduction in auto sales for the 4th month in a row that GM was shutting down the bulk of their operations for the next 2 / 3 months. After hearing that my hopes and stomach sank. It doesn't take an economic genius to figure out the ripple effect on that announcement. The next day, by noon, most of the companies we had orders from had cancelled the orders, by 2 the boss was there to lay me off and by 4 I was home to share the wonderful news with the wife.....for the umpteenth time.
Not sure what's gonna happen, but this time ain't like times in the past....with all the crap that's gone on in the country lately there are millions of people out of work, not just me and with all the automotive problems currently with GM and now Chrysler, (they just filed for bankruptcy and shut down all their plants until it's finalized)......there isn't going to be much demand for CMM programmers let alone anybody else that's tied to automotive.
On top of my situation, for the first time in history, the wife has also had her hours reduced to 32, which is a 20% cut in pay, so in the last couple weeks we've had our income reduced by almost 1,000 bucks a month (assuming I get unemployment). There's no way we can maintain everything with that kind of reduction so it's a matter of importance what gets paid and the rest I guess disappears.........that's easy to say but not very easy to watch happen. It's like a slow motion train wreck.
I won't start a rant about what I think is going on in the world today, but I'm very concerned about this country these days, the direction we're heading and the things that are happening around us. This week alone there's been a Swine flu scare that is so hoeky that it's not funny. With that in mind let me share a quote with you from Fredrick Von Hayek, a famous economist. "Emergencies" have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. Take it for what it's worth I guess, but at the risk of being a pessimist again, I hope the economic base of this country doesn't collapse completely......if that happens jobs aren't the issue, food and shelter will be.
I really don't know if I'll be writing in here much for awhile.....I don't want to document my life going into the toilet. I'm hoping I'm just being melodramatic and life will be good again before long, but being the pessimist I am I'm gonna hope for the best and try to prepare for the worst.
Wish me luck, I do the same for you. It looks like there's some rough road up ahead. How far it goes and how rough it gets is anybody's guess.
I'm scared that my gut feeling may be right and never more in my life would I love to be completely wrong.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ok, Now it's Official

Spring arrived in the Northern hemisphere this past Friday at 7:22am, give or take a minute or two. The weather has been bearble for this early in the season and we've even had a few days up near 60°. Last Saturday I drove the bike up to the shop and had 'em put a new rear tire on her along with an oil change. Now, I'm ready for my trip out west again this summer. As long as I can hang onto my stash between now and the first part of July I'm going...period. Mesa Verde is the plan (Southwestern Colorado) but that might change depending on "stuff". We'll see how it goes.
Me and the boys (Mercury and Bailey) went up to camp today to check things out and the plan was to do some wood cutting, but once we got up there I tried for an hour to start the damn chain saw and it just was having nothing to do with firing up. Pissed me off, but it was stupid to not check it out here at home first before dragging it up there so who's to blame? We hung around for about 3 hours, spent some time stacking up wood for cutting later and just sat around for a bit and took in the sights and sounds before heading back home. It's gonna be a couple weeks at least before I open up the camper and get things ready for an overnighter. Got to find some canvas to patch a couple tears. The canvas is getting so old that it's thin and tears easily. Can't afford to fix it right so a patch will have to do. I doubt it's gonna last more than a couple more years and I'm not sure what we'll do then if we can't afford to replace it with what we'd like to have.......who knows if it'll even be an issue in a few years. Long term plans don't seem to make much sense lately.
This past week I did do some spring the garage somewhat cleaned up, at least enough I can get the bike in and out without tripping over stuff. It's kinda of a work in progress. Also did some raking yesterday and got the dog pen all cleaned out too. A regular whirlwind, that's me.
No big plans for the next couple weeks. I'm still working and the next worry is the end of April when Lear comes and gets the rest of their dies. We'll see at that point if there's enough of a future left for the powers that be to keep the place open and in business or call it quits. All bets and plans are off if the place folds. Stay tuned.