"There is no doubt that our nation's security and defeating terrorism trump all other priorities."

Arlen Specter

Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 minus 1982 equals 34.


I had to do the math to figure out how long M and I have been married.  34 years. Last year I tried to do the figuring in my head and messed up, and Dani reminded me I had the number wrong. So this year I used a calculator.  That's what happens when you get older.

We get too worn out these days, rushing around, so earlier in the week, we went west and I took M to a nice store she likes. She got two "outfits" with pants, a blouse and a kind of jacket thing like a hoodie. One is made of some soft material and is gray. I told her she looks like a mouse wearing it.


She has always been very frugal, and has a hard time spending money on herself.  This was an anniversary present shopping trip though. We both got some things we wanted. I got a case of Privi-Partisan 7.5 Swiss , brass cased and boxer primed, from Sportsman's Guide. She likes to go to stores and walk around so that was part of her "treat." I would generally rather stay home and order off the internet.

We worked hard from our teens into our sixties, and I don't see why we shouldn't let go of a nickle now and then.  But we are both Scotch Irish, and so we are naturally tight with a coin.


I had to pay my property taxes this week. It really aggravates the devil out of me. I get nothing other than access to the park for my money, and they send some of it down to Atlanta to pay for schools in urban districts where everybody is on welfare, nobody pays any  taxes to support their schools, so the rural counties have to. If an asteroid landed right on Atlanta and vaporized it, how much better off Georgia would be. When I first came here in 1986 my property taxes were just under $1000 a year, but now they have more than doubled.

In some counties in Georgia, you don't have to pay property tax after you turn 64, but not here. You pay the fat cats until you die.



Nothing else to tell. I am just staying inside today and doing nothing.

28 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary! Here's wishing both of you many more.

    It doesn't hurt a thing to spend a few of your hard earned dollars on yourself. I don't have a bit of trouble parting with cash if it will help out my kids or grands. To their credit, those times have been very few and only in dire emergency situations. But I have to think long and hard about spending money on myself. Must be my Scottish heritage showing. :)

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    1. Wonder why the Scots are so cheap. Maybe they had a lot of poverty back in the 1700's and that's where the reputation comes from.

      Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says "I am spending my kid's inheritance."

      I can remember some times in my life where outlay exceeded income. My wife and I keep a stash of cash to help out the kids when something happens that would stress them to take care of.

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  2. Harry, you cracked me up with this one. Ordered a case of ammo for your anniversary gift. You are the man!!
    --Troy

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    1. Better than a tie or something. I gave all my ties and suits to Goodwill. Now I don't even have one to be buried in!

      Besides, I wanted the reloadable brass for 7.5 Swiss and that takes care of the need. I have two K-31 rifles that are really nice shooters, but they have to be fed!

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  3. It might help to think of it as: paying for their schools to keep them busy and keep them where they are and out of your neck of the woods.

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    1. Ever time there's a news story on the Atlanta school system it's about teachers helping the kids on the CRCT by changing their answers, or some administrator embezzling thousands, or someone in the district using a district credit card to pay for "ho's" and booze, that kind of thing. They make me sick. >:-(

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  4. Twelve years ago when we bought this house I paid under 2 grand in taxes per year. Mind you, the land is 150 X 149 feet, and the house is only 640 sq/ft in what it considered the wrong side of the railroad tracks. Every year the property taxes go up on us so we are now at three grand a year. Come election time the local, state level and occasional US legislature fat cats running for office are at the front of the school doing a meet and greet kissing babies begging for your vote. After voting I make a point to stop long enough to scream at them to stop wasting my money. They always give me the deer in the headlights look and then give me the fake laugh. I don't know how much longer I can keep it up until we sell out and move away to somewhere I don't have to keep paying for those useless parasites.

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    1. My God! I couldn't afford to live up there. Your taxes are outrageous, that's outright robbery. I couldn't afford to even pay the taxes on my land at that rate!

      We also have to pay a 7% sales tax here. I keep track of all my expenditures, by category, and have since 1993. Sales tax alone mounts up much faster than most people would believe. But people here keep voting for the 1% special local options tax, so we can spend thousands for a piece of crap statue some relative of the librarian welded up in his garage, and sold to the library. The only good thing at all we get out of our taxes is the park, which is pretty nice, but I wouldn't pay thousands to get in every year!

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    2. Yes we also have a 5.5% sales tax in addition to 8.5 % state income tax. By the time we are done with property, state, fed, sales taxes and other assorted rip offs we are paying about 40% of our income in taxes. The town school which has 700 students has a budget of 44 million dollars and every year they tell us it is not enough and they need a new assistant to the assistant but-wiper safety officer or some such idiocy. The next town over has twice as many students and a 41 million $ budget. Meanwhile I go to the grocery store and look at the 12$ steak, look at the 6$ steak and wind up buying the 5$ a pound hamburger. But our reps in government don't even think they have to exercise any restraint. And while I drive 20 yr old cars with 200K miles on them, they think nothing of buying a whole new fleet of luxury SUVs for the town employees to wreck every three years.

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    3. Strange how your thoughts parallel mine although we've never talked about this. It would be hard to quantify how bitterly I resented handing over so much of my income to the county, state or federal government in return for what?

      When I was teaching, the school system would buy new text books, at an astronomical cost. Then the next year, some bureaucrat from Atlanta would come out and tell us that our text books were not "the best" so, and I kid you not, thousands of dollars worth of text books, with one year on them, went into the dumpster. The waste was appalling. So was the constant influx of people who had utterly failed in the classroom, so they became "consultants" and would come to the school and teach us how to run our classrooms. They made six figure salaries for this favor.

      Maybe things will change some now, but I think this kind of waste is so ingrained in our society that it will be impossible to eliminate. Like building multi-million dollar bridges in Alaska, to islands nobody lives on.....

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  5. Happy Anniversary to you and M!! May you have many more years together. Our property taxes went up this year. It really makes me mad, yet I can't even get anyone out to mow the weeds and grass along our road. And, don't even get me started about the conditions of our roads. I am sure, however, that some county officials are getting a raise this year. Jana

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    1. Our property tax mostly goes to build new things for the schools, most of which they don't want or need. But somebody related to the County Commissioner will have the land, so the county buys it and builds some useless thing on it. Our roads are in bad shape too. The one leading to the old forest service road I use to get up to the Jeep trail is so bad I have to come up it in low now because it's so washboarded it will bounce the fillings out of your teeth.

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  6. Congratulations on your marriage. A good spouse makes all the difference in the world.

    My taxes are higher than yours, for only a couple acres too. Of course, there's that water frontage. My kids did use the school system growing up. Roads are plowed and maintained. Called the volly fire department once and police a couple times over the years. They do have trash pick up, so that's nice. Of course, property taxes are high in part because we have no sales or income tax.

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    1. We have a seven percent sales tax, we have state income tax, we have property tax. Don't get much that I can see for any of it. Our roads are in bad shape unless they are part of the state system, or they are in "communities" at the lake or on mountain tops where the well heeled live. No trash pickup here. Sounds like you are better off in those respects than I am.

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  7. Maybe you should start a petition to change the tax situation, and then work to defeat the jerks if they don't comply.

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    1. Well, I couldn't lose my job because I don't have one now. But they could still find me in a ditch somewhere. The guy who runs our county used to be loan shark / leg breaker. Old habits die hard.

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  8. And you never really "own" your property, there are always the taxes. Makes me think of Gone with the Wind! We just refinanced the house and paid a considerable amount down. Now the monthly insurance and taxes (escrowed) are equal to the house payment!

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    1. I don't have an escrow account as I have no mortage, but I keep a special savings account and I put one twelfth of the taxes in it each month. I pay a lot in insurance, because if this place ever goes I don't want to worry about money. So I have a fat policy including earthquake insurance.

      You're doing well to have such a low house payment. You did it in the nick of time too, interest rates are going up, probably up 1/4 of a point this month.

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  9. Happy Anniversary to you and your bride, Harry.

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    1. Hey Hobo. Thanks for the kind thoughts. It's like Christmas. I always wonder, when I hit Christmas or the anniversary, if I'll make it to the next one! ;-)

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  10. Harry - Tried leaving a comment via my phone last night, but don't think I was successful...

    Congrats to you and M - you are a shining example to youur children - and friends / acquaintances.

    Yeah - CoL increases are rapidly becoming unaffordable - how anyone could've budgeted years ago to retire now...?

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    1. We are just creatures of habit, that's the secret!

      I think basically on retiring, the best thing to do is squirrel away as much as you can when you are working, and then try to live frugally there after. We don't live a very extravagant lifestyle here so we don't need a lot to be comfortable.

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  11. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    Coastal property taxes are really high so I know what you have to go through. I pay almost as much as you do in property taxes and I think property taxation is unconstitutional anyway but there is almost nothing I can do about it anyway except complain to politicians.

    Lots of rain in our area that may be headed your way' Harry.

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    1. I know it's high, in a lot of ways, living along the coast. But it sure would be nice.

      There's not a thing you or anyone can do about property tax. The number of people who own homes or other property and have to pay the tax is decreasing, and the number of kids in the schools is increasing, so they have to keep soaking those who own their own places.

      We are having a lot of rain right now, second day of it. The Weather Channel had a big segment on the fires here , this morning, and I was amazed because the big fires in North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee appear to still be burning, despite all the rain.

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  12. I would rather order off the internet too. Sounds like a fun anniversary!

    We also just had to send off property taxes. Always unpleasant checks to write.

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    1. Lisa, I try not to go into built up areas anymore, especially since my social interaction with the Morlocks in Chattanooga.

      I hate paying taxes. I hate paying taxes I don't get any discernible benefit from even worse.

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  13. Harry,

    Happy Belated Anniversary To You and Your Sweet Wife.
    Sometimes you just need to treat yourself on those special days. Speaking of property taxes, does GA provide a discount for military and senior citizens?

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    1. Sandy, in some Georgia counties, Seniors do not have to pay property tax at all. In others Seniors get no break at all. There's no break for military at all.

      Thanks for the kind sentiments. Like all married people we sometimes disagree but we work those times out.

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