Monday, October 16, 2006

Social Security doesn't follow the CPI?

I decided to hunt for the changes to the social security amounts today and was intrugued to see that the amount at which you stop paying social security (for an individual mind you) is at now at $94,200 whereas it was at $90,000 last year. Thats just over a 4.6% increase year over year. Also, the amount an individual must pay for 1 work credit went from $920 to $970. Thats a 5.4% increase. Why don't these things follow the Consumer price index(CPI), also known as the inflation rate? They are never that high. My two thoughts as to the reasons are:
1) It wasn't indexed previously and now they are making up ground.
2) Its a means to make up for the under-funded future of Social Security. The 4.6% is higher to get more money from the rich and the 5.4% is higher to pay less out in the long run....thus allowing SS to be funded longer.

Here is the referenced government article on SS rates.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My favorite political statements yet

I hear these two things from Democrats on the news:
1. "President Bush tricked us into going into Iraq by saying they had WMDs" I assume this is from the MANY Democrats which supported going into Iraq.

2. "President Bush is dumb." I heard this the other night on O'Reilly factor from a prominent democrat.

Ok, so if a "dumb" guy "tricked" you...what does that make you? Ha!

I disagree with both of these statements. I think the evidence supported the Iraq war and everyone was fooled by incorrect evidence. I don't think it was Bush's fault. And, anyone that can win 2 presidential elections...isn't dumb. He seems quite intelligent to me. I do think he is a poor public speaker compared to some politicians...but he is better than I have no room to talk.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back in shape

With the goal to get back in shape, I am working out a lot again. A couple of observations:
1) Every year you wait it gets tougher.
2) My definition of "in shape" is different than it used to be.
3) I need to not stop again...

First, every year it gets tougher. Its true..your body just can't recover from muscle pulls, cramps, and just from the overall stress of working out. I remember when i started working out again after about a 3 yr hiatis (sp?) when I was 21. In 2 weeks, I was on my my way. Now that I am 27 and have had a 3 yr hiatis again, I am still struggling to get a second set of any muscle group in. The wall is a lot closer.

The other thing is my definition of in shape has definitely changed. It used to be, "muscles, muscles, muscles." And, I had them. But now, whether it is my age, maturity, or fact I have a wife and a kid on the way, the bigger concentration is now "cardio, cardio, muscles." Why cardio? Well, for me its not so much about losing weight, although that would be nice. For me its about health. I am a big built guy, always have been and as far as I can figure it, always will be. Even in my worst shape, I had to wear "athletic cut" suit/tux jackets because my shoulders were so much bigger than my gut. While my frame/bone structure can handle me being bigger, the reality for me is that my heart may not be able to. I need to keep it in shape.

Finally, I need to keep the momentum going and not stop. This has been painful and every time I do it it gets worse. I need to keep going...and hopefully, Lord willing, I will be able to.

Getting closer

Well..we are within 3 weeks of the baby's due date...Everything was progressing well as of our doctor's apptmt Friday...we are ready for the little one to come bless our life :-) We had our second and final baby shower on Saturday in Heather's hometown, Burlington. I spent the afternoon with Heather's dad and had some great conversations and watched football. We got a lot of wonderful gifts at all of our showers. I think the majority of the gifts were clothes. Heather and I shouldn't have to buy clothes for the first 6 months. :-)

On Saturday, our neighborhood had a yard sale. Typically they are well attended, but Saturday was cold (high of 60) and misty all day, so not a lot of people came by. We did sell $25 worth of stuff we didn't want and gave away a lot more! :-) I am going to spend some time on Craigslist trying to give away some of the other stuff. We need to get it out of the house!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bad news in Apex

If you have seen the news this morning, there was a large fire at a hazardous waste plant in Apex. Here it is on fox news. I am slightly worried about it all for my coworkers. A lot of my coworkers are in Apex since it is about as close to our work as I am. Here is a map of my work (NorthWest on this map), Apex (SouthWest), and my home (NorthEast):

Personally, we aren't downwind of I am not too worried for my house...but this affects people I know and care about as well as the local environment. :-( Keep Apex in your prayers today.