Monday, March 24, 2008

The World CLock

Visually fascinating to see the statistics click away the time....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bruno Ramella and Lessons from the Great Depression

My Pappy, Bruno, is a real Italian American. He has large ears, a large schnoz, a temper and eats well. I always thought it was tight with him money - and didn't think that was nice. Nice? What does that have to do with money? Well. Grandma had to drive a super old car for decades DECADES because Pap said they didn't need another. This car was so old it had moss growing in the window slits and was practically rusting away. OH. And he would be upset if she used the air conditioning because it used up gas. But he would turn it on for guests in the car - they live in Florida.

But recently I heard a story from my Mom about Pap. Here's how it played out.

Phone rings: Hello?
Mom: "It's Mommy. The reason Daddy grew up in a trailer is because Grandpa didn't want to owe anyone money..."

Me: "Oh Mom. Did I hurt Dad's feelings because I called him trailer trash? I was only kidding...and celebrating his heritage!"

Mom: "No. Not really. But I wanted to tell you story. Grandpa's Daddy lost his house in the Depression you know? So he lost everything they have. Your Grandpa remember this and said he would neber lose like that. So when he bought the land he also buy trailer to live in. Then as he got money he start to build his own house."

Me: "Whoa. That's why he built his own home? So he wouldn't owe anyone any money!?"

Mom: "Yes. He remember the Depression time. You know Baby, that was hard time. He was a kid and had to work...he would deliver milk and bring his mommy cream and give her his quarter...he would buy food and he was only a kid."

Me: "Oh wow."

Mom: "Yeah. So see? There was reason Daddy lived in a trailer."
Dad: (in the distance) "I never lived in the trailer! I was born after the house was built!"

Me: "So really...I have no trailer trash heritage."

Mom: "I think you miss Mommy's point."

So Dear Reader... can you be that patient and avoid owing? It seems to me that in order to have American comforts we must carry American debts. Sueann's Magical Quick Math-estimator indicates it would take me 3 years to save up for my car - $17,000 Hyundai Tuscon with 10 year bumper to bumper warranty and free tires for life (good deal huh)- and that's IF I only had a $500 rent payment and $200 in other expenses ok make it $350 in other expenses cause baby's got a shoe addiction...

Anyway - YEARS to buy my car out right cash.

Pap and the Family lived in a tiny trailor for about 2-3 years. The kids slept on the dining room benches. I have a feeling today's Child Protection Services would be upset at that...

But they were happy, fed well and warm. Eventually, they had their house - that Pap and Nanny owned outright. They never had a mortgage payment in their lives. Who can say the same now?

With the mortgage crisis and the shared veins that trouble has with various banking institutions, it is amazing we have not hit the Depression. If we did, how many of us would learn the lesson of credit?

But maybe a more realistic question is: How long can you go without in order to have it for real?

Not very long.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Couldn't Work. Had to Listen to Robert Schimmel

There are few interviews that I am motivated by, moved by and given direction by. Normally, those interviews are by Terry Gross of Fresh Air. Comic Robert Schimmel. He survived cancer.
Worth the 40 minutes to listen
What I got from this interview is.
1. Get over yourself and pettiness. Life is too short to waste
2. The hardest trials have the richest rewards
3. Attitude is everything
4. If you know what you want and need, get it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Upset and Helping

This upset me

This is what I did to help and feel better about it

Thanks Day to Day and NPR for reminding me that I live an extraordinary life compared to millions of women. I give thanks for my blessings and the capability to help.