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"Poisoned" By Objectivism --can't Deal With Fascist Livi

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Mark, your initial post mentions appeals to the assessor and mayor. Have you taken any legal action beyond that? Have you considered bankruptcy? While I loathe the idea when it comes to legitimate obligations, some kinds of tax debt can be discharged in bankruptcy. You might want to think about talking to an area volunteer legal organization to see what you might be able to do. I saw one of your posts that mentioned something about talking to lawyers, but you didn't say much beyond that that I saw. (A word of warning: Be careful in your response that you don't divulge any information relating to any representation you had that you don't want to be in public. I know this is just common sense, but also, disclosing confidential information to third parties may wipe out your attorney-client privilege.)

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>When I saw that I would owe more in taxes for my equipment than I earned, I would close the business and not fill out the forms

I sympathize completely. You have a tough situation. I have shyed away from self-employment for such reasons. My advice would be to leave taxes to an employer! But that's just me.

I am also no Dr. Phil, but... if you are in danger of losing things of utmost value to you, it simply doesn't matter that you have difficulty with standard full-time employment. You HAVE to do it if you cannot make it on your own. You have to learn HOW (i.e. take a breath and JUST DO IT). To do otherwise would be to allow a lesser value (avoiding an unfulfilling 40-hour job) threaten things of higher value (house, family, etc.).

In terms of practical suggestions: 1) move, 2) develop into a more satisfying and higher-paying job.

1) I was looking at housing in Colorado the other day, and was seeing taxes of $600/yr on a single-family home. I paid $5000 in upstate New York! Save up for a move and do it. States that think we live to pay taxes can go to ****.

2) Try to get an office job or something where you can pick up skills. If you are a problem-solver or creative, programming may work. I have an art degree (MFA) and I find programming to be very creative and it pays. In any case, try to get a job where you can do many things (aside from frying various foods) and your employer is open to letting you try them. This will give you an opportunity to learn on the job things you may not be able to learn on your own. Soon, you will have skills that you can use to find a better job. Forget about dead-end jobs such as anything in the service industry, unless your dream is to be a local retail manager.

Good luck.

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I'd love to move to a nicer home that doesn't have the problems I'm dealing with, in a low tax area. Colorado sounds nice.

But the job opportunities here are nil. All that's left are retail jobs. I used to have a dead end factory job, packing tampons in boxes 12 hours a day (often 16 hours if my shift relief didn't show up) in a hot, dusty, steamy factory, forced to wear sanitary masks which made breathing in the 85deg temperatures very difficult, while racing to keep up with the relentless machines. I was suspended from that job for having been sick 8 days that entire year. The event that pushed me over the edge was when my crew leader sent me home because I was so ill I could barely stand. That constitued the 8th day off of work. I never returned to that job. And I made a vow never to return to the rat race again. It was just bad and getting worse with each new job.

Now we have only Wal-Mart here and a couple of supermarkets as the major employers. Gas station attendant is totally out of the question.

The real jobs are a 2 hour commute to NYC, and I was once offered $37K to work for a radio station in Manhattan. But when I checked into rents (as I would have to reside there during the week), I realized that I would net almost nothing.

The hope is that sometimes I can earn a week's pay in one day on a good project. I just need to find the clientelle who trust in my abilities. So hard to do.

I started applying for graphic design jobs within 60 minutes drive of my location, but none have panned out. Companies want much more in credentials and the workload is so much greater than it was in the 80s, while the pay is now a mere fraction of what it was 15 years ago.

I MUST find a way to effectively market myself. The so-called referral services I've tried have been a waste of money.

I have some web sites, but they only get 2-3 hits a day from unique IPs, so not enough traffic to have a potential that a visitor is local. I'm rapidly running out of ideas and time. And I'm growing tired if it all. Sleep provides me welcome escape and that is scary.

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I took a look at some of your websites. It appears that you have talents for dealing with music synthesizers and a great deal of knowledge related to audio processing and related electronics. I can think of many ways of using that knowledge to make a lot more money than bad manual labor jobs. If you designed the equipment on mwcomms.com, that in itself obviously makes you able to find good work being employed as an audio equipment designer. Probably not where you live though.

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I took a look at some of your websites. It appears that you have talents for dealing with music synthesizers and a great deal of knowledge related to audio processing and related electronics. I can think of many ways of using that knowledge to make a lot more money than bad manual labor jobs. If you designed the equipment on mwcomms.com, that in itself obviously makes you able to find good work being employed as an audio equipment designer. Probably not where you live though.

Exactly. Throughout the 1970s and 80s, I sought employment with firms that were involved in audio applications. I found that these existed in Woodinville, WA, 3600 miles away, and in other major cities across the country--but not anywhere near where I live. We are the insurance capital of the world here. If I were an insurance underwriting specialist, I would be able to find plenty of work! Aside from that, we're all service industries, and those are rapidly leaving the state due to the taxes and the high cost of electricity (over 20 cents/kWh now--my monthly bill is $370 now).

My wife and I have had some interesting job-hunting experienced this year; she is essentially finding out that her manufacturing job, despite it's declining salary due to medical deductions far oustripping the 2% annual raise cap, actually pays better than a web developer job she applied for. And the reason she applied was because the salary.com estimate for a job like that in CT should have been double what the company offered her. She decided to remain in her old job.

I have applications in for every (rare) freelance graphic design job offer, but I know I don't meet the qualifications, because I don't know the extensive list of software applications that well. I knew 80% of them well enough to get around, and 20% of them I never used at all. And the kicker is that a lot of graphic design work around here is paying $12-16/hr now. At the pinnicle of my design career in 1992, I was earning $128/hr. I would get paid $3,000 to design three VHS packages and a sell sheet for an importer of foreign films. I could templatize and do the work in a few hours, getting most of it done in one day. The rest of the labor was in review cycles. After 3-4 days, the job was submitted and I'd get the balance of the payment. Trouble was that this client would feed me like one job every 4-6 months.

I'm sure you know the term, "Jack of all trades, master of none." That described me pretty well, as it did my deceased uncle who died in 1975. We dabbled in a lot of things, came off as reasonably intelligent, but lacked the business acumen to instill confidence in the clients and command a market. My uncle assembled electronic PC boards at home, plus he ran gas stations to support his five kids.

I have one daughter, and a wife, who, had she been American, surely would have swept me out of her life long ago. I have to say that my wife has had the most stoic patience and faith in me over the years and she still has high hopes that we'll one day own a million dollar home. (Actually, in a few years, OUR home will be assessed at a million dollars, so she's not far from reality!)

I'm putting some effort into improving the presentation of my web sites this month, since I was told that my business sites were incoherent and that what was being offered was unclear and inaccessible. The next step is to get traffic to the sites. And hopefully clients.

As summer approaches, I will be taking another long work vacation, as I hang up the computer for 8 months and get out the hammer and saws and begin rebuilding 1800 sq ft of badly rotten roof. Easier said than done, since it is a shed roof, not a gable--once I open it up, the interior of the house will be open to the sky! I don't know how I'm going to do it, with the rainy weather we have here, but it will be the biggest mental and physical challenge of my lifetime.

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Have you considered trying elance? There you could get paid for doing music and animation work, even electronics work for other people and make money with your hobbies. I think it's worth a shot.

I discovered they have a free 'courtesey listing', so I created a profile and listing.

I also placed ads on craigslist.org. I think there's too much 'noise' out there for me to get noticed though.

On the real estate front, I've had a few comparitive evaluations done (but the agents have been reluctant to give me a hard number) in the past 3 months.

I've had two construction firms look at the place since December.

The short of it is that I'm more screwed than I first thought. I could not reveal much about the environmental issues with the property, but even without that being entered into the equation, I was told by the real estate agents that the property is unsaleable, partly due to the condition of the house and partly due to the wetlands issue. The construction people informed me 'off the record' that if they pulled a permit, that would trigger the building inspector to look at the place and that there were three serious code violations that would result in immediate condemnation of the property. All of which are very costly to correct. Some are not related to the project at all and would take funds away from the project.

That said, the part I didn't discuss was the nice 'superfund cleanup' that be triggered should someone start poking around the ground to see what was buried back there. I got an 'off the record' opinion from someone with legal background and it was told to me as follows: that no matter if I abandoned the property to the town, or tried to sell it, EPA would use the IRS to garnish my wages for the recovery of Superfund cleanup costs, which, in my case, could run in excess of $250,000. Wage garnishment could continue for the rest of the remainder of my life. This would be bad. I would have to leave the country immediately if this happened. I would not have the protection of claiming that this mess was not my doing, but of the former owner, because I have owned the property for a while now and have knowledge of the matter.

So we have here an interesting dilemma: if the taxes overrun my ability to pay, the property gets seized, I end up on the street, AND the IRS gets to levy my income to pay for the environmental cleanup of the property that the town will have seized from me. It seems that the best course of action is to get absurdly wealthy, repair the place quietly and pay these taxes, even if they become $20,000, $30,000 or more a year in the coming decade.

Now the $64,000 question: How do I get wealthy? :)

With a long history as a sub-par performer in 'someone else's system', be it a job, or school, I have demonstrated only that I am an undesirable individual in 'their' society. Most of my greatest achievements have been the commission of federal crimes ("pirate" radio broadcasting/construction of station), or otherwise illegal activities pertaining to other areas of the laws of taxation and probate. In other words, what little I've grabbed for myself has been done through lies, cheating and deception to some extent. I know that I'm good in certain limited areas, such as the video production/sound knowledge, but I've had to shortcut the system to achieve personal assets, but I'm a fiercely materialistic person whose sanity relies on these material objects with which I identify. The phrase, "It's who I am," comes to mind.

Now at an elevated age, slowing of mind and body, I find it difficult to concentrate, organize my thoughts and stay focused. I have too many distractions, whether it's the sheriff's visits on delinquent tax notices, or the pressures of family and parenthood, or the repair work on the house that always looms before me. I'm rather a slow worker in most areas and the world has passed me by like I'm moving in slow motion. Most of the young folks these days are sharp, have good memories, and very quick of mind. The world has little need for a dinosaur like me in their fast-paced, competitive system.

So in this context, the prospect of making a comfortable living and enjoying a standard of living that does not have me contemplating suicide (ie., apartment living) is one requiring a lot of income. As I sit here doing my income taxes, I see that my business profit for 2005 was -$720 (that's net loss of $720) and I have not yet included all business deductions. It was a terrible year, but I had to take 8 months off to rebuild part of the house, and I will be forced to do this again this coming April - November, as I attack the collapsing roof that leaks with every rainfall over the kitching/dining area. It's a scary situation. I'm burning at both ends and I need more rest than when I was young.

I keep thinking that if I re-read every Ayn Rand book that I have in the house here, that somehow my premises will change and that I'll discover new solutions to the current circumstances. But reading makes me more angry at the government, for the books only remind me of how badly we are being raped and deceived by the Fascists. I don't know what else to do by take one day at a time and keep repairing and hope that I can keep the town from executing against me. I count my blessings to keep myself together---I have a wife who loves me unconditionally and a daughter who has the uncanny ability to bring laughter to my countenance every time I am in her presense. Somehow, there has to be a synergy between my few, finely-honed abilities, and a real income...

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Now the $64,000 question: How do I get wealthy? :)

I just came up with another idea:

How about teaching classes on your areas of knowledge to adults? You could even use the "I built a pirate radio in my basement"-thing as a benefit in your ads to show your level of expertise and to make you unique. We have an organization in Germany which offers courses for adults in brochures and you can use them to do all the marketing and they even offer the rooms. I guess in the US this is called the learning annex. I think I once heard that. However, I'd bet there is such a thing in the US. Since there are several things you are interested in, you could offer courses covering these subjects. It may take some time to prepare such a course, but once it's done, all you have to do is show up and be yourself.

You could offer several courses on electronics, video, audio, radio. This is stuff people want to learn.

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That sounds like an enjoyable vocation, but doesn't teaching in the US require a Master's Degree?

I never finished college, as it was interfering with my ability to be awake and alert on my day job, so I had to choose my job over finishing my education 30 years ago.

I used to run a computer desktop publishing SIG at my home in the late 1980s for our computer users group. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but of course it was volunteer work.

Teachers start at $65,000 over in our local school system, but the barrier to entry is that Master's Degree.

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That sounds like an enjoyable vocation, but doesn't teaching in the US require a Master's Degree?

I never finished college, as it was interfering with my ability to be awake and alert on my day job, so I had to choose my job over finishing my education 30 years ago.

But teaching some evening courses doesn't have to require a degree. The organization in Germany offers courses on everything ranging from Digeridoo-playing to Zen-Buddhism. And the people teaching that don't have a degree either. There must be an organization like that in the US.

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There are such schools in most major cities. They focus on adult learning and you usually don't need a graudate degree to teach their classes.

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There are such schools in most major cities. They focus on adult learning and you usually don't need a graudate degree to teach their classes.

I think our local HS has an adult education program, but the persons presenting the material are either volunteering their time, or being paid a minimal wage. And I just reminded myself that this happens in the evening, when my wife's at her manufacturing job and I'm stuck home looking after my 23 month old daughter.

Anyway, I've been privately advised to have this thread deleted--I didn't consider that Google may pick up the thread, for all my enemies to use against me.

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Hello, I was looking up "unalienable rights" and stumbled upon this site and your posts. I have to say, I find them a bit irritating. So irritating in fact, that I signed up to this site to repond to you. My thought is you need some tough love. So here it is.

First, You spend as much time writing about how your not good at things as I spend working at getting good at things. I understand that the system is rotten. I'm a roofing contractor and have been in the construction business since I was 19 (I'm 30 now) and I could tell you stories of corruption that would make your head spin. The kind of taxes your subject to as a self employed person are appalling. The amount of paperwork involved decreases my productivity by no less then 50%. And if you think it's bad by yourself, try having an employee or two. On top of that through in the risk of $80,000plus, osha fines for safety violations by employees that you ultimately have no control over or public officials requiring bribes and you see what not sleeping enoughmeans. All that being said, the one good part about a system this far gone is there are all kinds of loopholes. Even if you file a 1040ez you have enough deductions between your dependent daughter and yourself, that you should pay virtually nothing in income tax. And besides that, using the tax burden as an excuse to not make the money in the first place, is a cop out. Make the money first then spend as much of it as you can on accountants to make sure the [email protected]#^@#%'s get as little as possible.

Now regarding your house, get over it. If land values are that high in your area, someone wants to buy the land and doesnt give a hoot what condition the house is in. The reason the land values are that high is because many people are buying the land. You seem to be a clever guy-despite your multiple comments as to your lack of mental accuity-As a clever guy, I'm certain that you could find a way to clean up what ever "spilled" in your backyard and then sell your house. If you really can't find an agent to sell it then at least stick a sign in your front yard. Maybe post an add online. I'm quite certain you havent spent 1/2 a century on this planet without hearing the phrase "by owner". To summerize...clean up....sell house...move to podunk, Arkansas, rent or buy a trailor in the middle of nowhere for next to nothing and enjoy your hobbies while paying your $300/month rent with a part time job or your $11,000 a year business. Or even better, move to the area where you can find a job in the field that you specialize in. It's not 3600 miles by the way and even if it were, you could make that drive in 4 days. Oh, And get more bids by other contractors. I could put the most expensive roof system available on a 12,000 square foot roof for $70,000. So unless your living in a fairly nice size mansion, replacing a roof should be in the 5k-15k range.

As far as your materialsim goes...it at ment to me is the most obvious statement of how misconstrued your views of objectivism are. And your misconceptions are what led you to this place your at mentally. You may remember in atlas shrugged, tycoons gave up big companies with lot's of perks, lots of money, lots of toys, to live in a little valley with a few people and performed fairly menial jobs. Bank owners raised pigs, industrial magnates fixed cars,etc...so now ask yourself why...It's because the "stuff" doesnt matter. Objectivism is not materialism. It's a way of living, not an outcome. So basically...the socialists want to steal our cookies right? That sucks, it really does, but for someone like hank rearden, its not a big issue. Because he knows he can bake more cookies. The real crime is that after they steal your cookies, they then tell you your bad for making cookies and want to know when your delivering the next batch. The real trick to it is learning to live without the guilt or fear their world instills. The act of pursueing your values is what matters most. And you pursue your values no matter how bad the world gets. I don't care if your in a concentration camp...you still pursue the betterment of your life.

Your self-esteem seems largely based on outcomes that you only have some control over. Money is not an indication of your achievment. It is an indication of how much others value your achievement so to base you happiness on how much other people value your work is to make the mistake of a second-hander. Don't do that. That is an only marginally useful gauge in a world populated by predominantly rational people with good values and good self-esteem. In our current world great wealth is more often an indicator of having sold your soul.

I am a roofing contractor and I install standing seam metal roofs. They are the best roof money can buy. Predominantly they are used on commercial applications...store fronts and such...thats where most of the money is. What I predominantly pursue, however, are individuals and architects who build custom homes with this sort of roof on it even though it pays less then the commercial stuff. Why would I do this? Simple...becuase I get to do the kind of work I want to do. I don't just build roofs, i get to build land marks. I get to build houses that people have dreamed about for years. I get to hear people I respect and admire say, "it looks just like i imagined it" about my work. And most importantly, i get to be challenged. And the funny thing about it is, doing what you really want to do, does eventually get you where you want to be in life financially and otherwise. Little by little on client at a time I'm getting to spend more and more time doing the kind of buildings I like all by word of mouth advertising. And I've only been in business for 2 years.

So now your think "well good for you...your getting to do what you love"...nope try again...I'm doing this to make enough money to get to where I'd really like to be, which is opening a montessorri school. But I don't have to sacrifice my values to get there. I can still live by them in the meantime.

I was kicked out of my house at a tender age, left florida and drove until i ran out of gas money which turned out to be texas and found myself shortly thereafter breaking up concrete in 100 degree texas sunn with a 90 lb jack hammer for the third week in a row when I briefly felt as you've described. I was making $6.00/ hour- a good part of which was appropriated by uncle scam-and every part of my body hurt every day. And you gotta wonder at that point what your doing wrong. I never did figure it out exactly. What I did do was keep going anyways because I didn't have a choice. I was alone in the world and needed to eat. I did what I had to do to get to do what I want to do. And Ive continued with that process to this day. I know you understand this concept on some level because youve already stated that your primary concern in life is your hobby's and that work is a secondary value used to support them. So don't despise the means by which you achieve your values because to do that is to despise reality. To despise cause and effect.

So suck it up, sell your house, stuff tampons in boxes, move accross the country, do what you have to do and don't ask why. The answer is simple. Reality demands it. Everytime you find yourself thinking. I can't do this, or this won't work, or this is useless, ignore the subject and think about something you can do and then do it. Movement and growth is what seperates living things from inanimate matter. You feel like your getting old and dying because thats what your doing ...voluntarily. Choose life instead. If you find yourself thinking you'll probably be dead in ten years because of some kind of genetic determinism, so why try, look at your daugther and remember that you have to be alive in 16 to see her graduate highschool and in 20 to see her graduate from college. And that gives you 2 full decades to live as a role model for her. Which means 20 years to pursue your values. Your in a unique place. At the bottom with not much left to loose from your own perspective. that allows you to take big risks. I further, suggest that you pick up a biography of buckminster fuller for inspiration from that perspective.

Best of luck...errr....I mean....May the universe not be malevolently opposed to your existence

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While I appreciate your concern for my and your willingness to write a lengthy response to my discussion, I have to respond to that you do not understand the full complexity of my situation and therefore cannot make an accurate appraisal of what action I must take to remedy this circumstance. As the old saying goes, don't criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. There are too many nuances and facts which I am not at liberty to discuss in a public forum, which raise the level of complexity of this problem to a scale of magnitude beyond which you could normally imagine.

Another thing that you must consider is the fact that you're young and have your full health, vitality and energy. Writing from the perspective of a young man, it is easy to assume that everyone else has the same energy and vitality as you do. The reality is, that some of us are much older and nearing the end of our productive lives. The option of starting over from scratch is not a viable one. Also it could be a situation where one is not willing to give up that which one has worked your whole life for. If I were crazy enough, I could just walk away from everything and go live in my car. But that would not be rational decision. While it is much cheaper to live in Arkansas, that may not be a viable choice especially given the fact that I have a daughter who will, in a few short years, the attending school. I enjoy things here that I could not have, living in a trailer park for instance. The nature of my hobbies, the activity which sustains my sanity, preclude the use of small housing units and the presence of nearby neighbors.

I have been reading some articles recently that talk about attention deficit disorder that is undiagnosed in adults today, because there was no means of detecting it back when we were kids in school. But in looking back over my life and reading the article and comparing the symptoms, it becomes apparent that I am suffering from an inability to concentrate and focus and that this is at least part of what's holding me back from succeeding financially. I am certain that the other half is an error in my epistomology.

My statement that you do not have a context nor grasp of my situation becomes more evident with regards to the problem of the property that I'm trying to sell. It is not so simple as putting a sign next to the road saying for sale by owner. The problem up here is the wetlands laws. It seems that no one wants to buy a useless piece of property these days. The property values have risen in this area, but those properties are the type that people want to buy. In my case, since the perspective new owner would probably choose to start from scratch, he would be running into the wetlands restrictions laws. Since the law in our town extends the barrier zone around a wetland to twice that what the state calls for, that effectively makes no portion of my half-acre lot qualified for building outside the buffer zone. This is the main show stopper.

As for cleaning up the land, I would need to rent a backhoe and that would require permits and that would raise a lot of questions from people in government positions. Attempting to do anything about the problem would open a can of Worms. Even in the unlikely possibility that I might find a buyer naive enough to purchase this property, under the laws as they are currently written, the previous owner, that would be me, would be held liable for whatever cleanup, damages, injuries to persons, etc., that might occur should the new owner decide to do any excavation on the property. If I did disclose what was on the property, certainly no buyer would purchase it, and due to the fact that it is a matter of public record, such sensitive information would be in the wrong hands. I was told that I have a unique catch 22 situation here, where I'm damned if I report the true state of the property, and I could be damned even worse if I fail to disclose the true state of the property and sell it. Unless I were prepared to leave the country and move to a country where there are no extradition laws with the U.S., I would be placing myself at a considerable liability.

Since you say that you are a roofing contractor and can do this job for about $15,000.00, why don't I hire you to rebuild my roof? There's only one small problem: you first have to remove a 945 square foot shack from the top of the shed roof and then rebuild, down to every joist, replacing rotten wood, replace all the sheathing, and then put down a new roof over the whole thing. Not to mention that you have to build overhangs on the eastern leeward side of the roof so that the rainwater doesn’t rundown on the wall of that side of the house. I have had four estimates, two of them prior to when things got so bad, which were both over $30,000.00, and the last two resulted in only one rough estimate and one job declined. I have solicited dozens of other construction firms nationwide through a handyman’s web site, as well as three local contractors who all refused to even look at the property based on my description of the work that needed to be done. The problem seems to be that there is too much easy work out there and not enough construction people that are hungry enough to do the work. there are a lot of new housing starts and that's for all the constructors are going.

I had my ephiphany 25 years ago, when I was in the middle age years, and I did some desperate things including driving an unlicensed, unregistered motor vehicle without insurance, taking $5.00 an hour temporary jobs that weren't even enough to pay for my gasoline, and finally landing a job at a manufacturing company, which by the way just closed its doors due to the high cost of doing business in this area, and other things I don't care to mention. Three years in the manufacturing job and I was going nowhere, making no progress, despite trying to do computer training on the side to make some extra money. I was falling asleep on the job due to lack of enough sleep and the crew leader in our department issued me an ultimatum. When I became ill and was suspended for exceeding the number of sick days allowed under the new attendance policy, I decided that I had had enough of the rat race. Quite frankly, since quitting fulltime employment, I have never been happier. My ulcers, nervous stomach, and diarrhea, all ceased and I was much more relaxed and at peace. Now that I do a hybrid of working at home and driving infrequently, traffic doesn't bother me nearly as much. Before, when I was on the clock, and dealing with it daily, I found myself in an increasing spiraling trend of stress, bouts of road rage, and trying to shorten my two hour commute by any means possible.

I'll admit that it was somewhat selfish to hook up, wait five years and then have a child this late in life, although while realizing in the back of my mind, that, hey who am I kidding, by the time she graduates, I'll probably be long gone. But I have a silly notion that I could live well past 100 years of age, so I try to be the optimist, in spite of the fact that I am the oldest living member of my family. But I do know this, that in this day and age, with my mental abilities being what they are, the fact that I have never produced anything substantial on my own, and would have been homeless were not for the fact that I had inherited property that had been in my family for generations, and given the fact that it is much harder to acquire property in this day and age because the property costs have gone up so much compared to salaries, that I would not be able to reproduce my current standard of living, were I to start all over from scratch.

A lot of what you said is true, however you can only determine so much from an Internet posting. And, you're speaking from the perspective of a young, physically active, healthy male. It is easy to assume that everyone else is in the same set of circumstances. The advice given to me was basically to sit tight try to earn as much money as possible and try to avoid gaining the attention of town authorities. Even to find a contractor to work on the house, I was told by the contractor, that there were at least three building code violations for which the property would be condemned on the spot during the required inspection before construction could begin. And given the fact that I cannot raise the kind of money to have a contractor working on this roof, it looks like I will be once again doing this work myself, one little section at a time. Even if it takes me the next eight years to finish at all. The reality is, that I don't wanna give up what little standard of living I've managed to scratch out and that I could stand to lose a lot more than you can possibly imagine if I were to take your advice.

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I apologize for my being a bit snippy but I get that way when I hear someone blaming a philosophy devoted primarily to "living life on earth" for their giving up on the ability to succeed. Ayn rand never said that her philosophy was a set of directions for how to live in a perfect capitalist utopia...that would be so easy that it wouldn't need directions...it was how to live in this universe. The same rules apply to a Jew in a Russian gulag that apply to an American in the late 1800's.

I read all of the posts on this subject and what I kept getting from you was that you had all of these problems and nothing you could do would fix them and nothing anyone suggested could work because the situation is hopeless. So I guess the nice thing to do is to commiserate and agree and feel bad that your in this circumstance that you can't get out of. That’s just not something I can't do. Because, frankly, I don't believe life is ever hopeless. I do know some investments have to be walked away from but that is not giving up, its just accepting a loss and stopping the bleeding of the wound, so to speak.

So look....I'm not the sharpest marble in the bag. I do construction for a living for Chris sakes. I've been broke more often then I care to remember and I have failed repeatedly. And your right...I haven't walked a kilometer in your shoes and I don't have all the details of your circumstance. But here's something I do know. You never ever give up or let yourself go down that path that I get the impression you have. When the government bred spawn of female dogs knock you down you get back up and try again. Try to learn what you can about why you failed and try again. This applied when I was six years old, it applied when I was 19 it applies now and I’m quite certain it will apply when I'm 50 when I'm 70 and when I’m 112. To do anything less is to let them win and I personally, hate them far to much for that.

And yes....your abilities do change as you age. Reflexes slow down....strength declines...health becomes precarious...but you know what?...I know a lot more then I did when I was 20 and I suspect I know a lot less then I will when I'm 50. What you loose in vitality you more then gain in wisdom if you've been paying attention even a little bit to your life. I could not have done 5 years ago what I'm doing now and that's not because my back got stronger. It's because I developed a better grasp of my circumstances and how to deal with them. Government nonsense included.

So all in all, your right...I can't tell you what you should do. I can't even guess about your likelihood of success with regard to any particular but I can say that none of it is the fault of objectivism. To say that objectivism poisoned you....made you in some way less capable of prospering because you realize the futility of trying in a faulted system...to say that your parents died because they couldn't bare to live in such a horrid place knowing what they knew(i.e. objectivism) is to commit a considerable epistemological error. If your self-esteem and therefore happiness in life is in some way tied to the government you live under then your right in your view that all is lost. And it will stay that way to whatever extent your self esteem is second handed.

I'm not going to psychologize here and guess why you haven't succeeded...only you can decide if you lack the ability to commit or refuse to take enough risks or whatever. But what I do suggest for your own benefit is that you back away from adult attention deficit disorder or any other sort of deterministic view regarding the contents of your mind. I personally believe the ability to focus is a skill which can be learned and improved upon. I've studied martial arts for a little over a decade now and have noticed marked improvement in that regard. Besides, even if mental disorders such as ADD or depression aren’t medicinalized, over-diagnosed mistakes in epistemology and were beyond refute in terms of there being inescapable genetic based factors, then I still would avoid believing them to be that way otherwise I Would not retain the ability to function. When you say "I’m clinically depressed" instead of "I'm unhappy" or "I have add" instead of "I lack focus" then the ball is out of your court. free will’s a tricky thing. It only seems to exist while you believe in it. I'll keep believing in it even if its a fools paradise.

Regarding your house, I understand now that it's a choice your making. I got the impression from earlier posts that you felt you had no choice. I thought basically that you could not afford the property taxes and the roof was caving in. Ergo...selling for whatever you can get and getting out seemed to be the only option. The case is though that you can afford to stay or at least believe you can find a way to afford to and will do so to maintain your hobbies. So the real problem boils down to the fact that your paying more property tax then you would like. With that I can sympathize. Your choices for avoiding property tax I think are a)not owning any B) fraud c)armed rebellion. I'll let you pick. :dough:

Take care

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Let me begin by stating that I think the subject line I chose may be a bit of a 'red herring'. I don't blame Objectivism for my problem. What I am trying to express here is that Objectivism has made me acutely aware of moral principles and, as such, I see just how immoral the government is and that is making me angry. Where it comes to property taxes of the confiscatory nature, that anger turns to militant rage. Now I know what a Muslim feels like when his religion is criticized. It makes me want to crash a jetliner into the town hall. But I have decided that should it come to armed conflict one day, it will be on my land and it will be a civil war, not an act of terrorism.

You're pretty darned sharp and wise beyond your years to recognize that with age and what we lose in physical ability, we gain in wisdom. But I also understand what my English professor said many years ago, when making a remark about epistomology: "the more we know--the more intelligent we are, the more we suffer and feel mental anguish." We all know the antithesis of this is embodied in the phrase "ignorance is bliss". Indeed, the street bum who is in a drunken stupor is jolly with not a care in the world because he lives in the moment. The intelligent person is always worried, because he sees deep into the future and is always concerned about trends that may affect his survival. That, to some degree, is contributing to my unhappiness: I know that it is only a matter of time before I fall behind on my taxes and armed confrontation won't be far behind. I know that I am getting too old to be climbing on rooftops and ripping off sheathing, yanking out rotten joists and racing against the next downpour to get it all closed up. I've given up on posting pictures of it because people were appalled that I'm 'raising a child in that house'.

Objectivism didn't make me any less able to prosper, unless by making me acutely aware of the contrast between morality of our current form of government, through some error in my thinking caused me to fall into a sense of futility; quite the contrary, it allowed me to overcome my mental handicaps to some extent--it allowed me a degree of clarity of thought that cut through the BS in many areas. I can see clearly where others are mired in confusion. But that's not enough to make me a marketing genius, or to overcome my inability to remain focused on any task for more than ten minutes.

Why do I think I'm not so hot, mentally? Well certainly because age is now robbing me of my higher mental abilities, but when I was younger, I was often slow to develop 'situational awareness'. I could not do sports because I could not grasp what was going on around me. It all happened too fast and was an incomprehensible blur. School was hell. It was boring, the material was not presented in a way that made any practical sense to me. I credit my mother with saving me from being an illiterate, because she home schooled me after school. She had a pile of textbooks and made me do assignments every day. She knew what materials and methods were needed to produce results and she succeeded.

However, when I got to the work phase of life, I had great difficulty there too. Even when I was able to do a task, I was always reviewed as 'low output, slow producer' etc. Often conditions were impeading my ability to concentrate, be it the 80º temperature in the shop, or the three radios blasting rock music from three different stations, or the ongoing feud between me and the other employees. I've always ended up pushed out of each department or job. Let's face it: I didn't want to be at any of those jobs. But being those were the available jobs, I had to accept something for income. But by 1985-89, I had had enough. It was during that period that I phased myself over to freelance work. And there I ran into another problem: I was a lousey marketer. My lack of ability to size up a situation (the market) resulted in my just taking a series of stabs at various business ventures. Most of them were miserable failures because I didn't know what I was doing. I got lucky a few times, but when those opportunities dried up, I was back in starvation again.

If it wasn't for the extreme frugality of my nature, I would not have survived on $6400 annual income. But I'm a real miser. I save everything, right down to used paper towels and reuse everything to save money. Very rarely will I buy a bottle of brandy or a box of chocolates. I throw ever dollar toward my hobbies and interests. I could be driving a new car today were it not for the money thrown down the drain of the town taxes. I can live on one-fifth of what I pay in property taxes, for a year.

Yes, focusing is in large part, a skill that can be honed. But why is it that some people can do it with seemingly little effort and others have to move mountains just to balance their checkbooks? This is somewhat related to laziness, and I've recently done some thinking about the root cause of laziness. I conclude that people of slothful metabolism, in which getting up off the chair or getting out of bed causes physical discomfort, have difficulty performing everday tasks. The worse you feel, physically, the harder it is to get anything accomplished. I think depression tends to aggravate that condition, as it does with oversleeping. The more oppressive and hopeless one's circumstances are, the more one sleeps. I find too that sleep is a period where I feel no pain. In that state of being, my mind can explore and experience being anything I want to be. Waking up is physically painful. My head aches terribly, my eyes hurt when I open them, and it's as if my skull weighed 60lbs. I was talking to a friend of mine earlier this evening and I asked him what it felt like to wake up, as he seemed to enjoy doing so more than once a day. I learned that his head doesn't hurt when he wakes up.

I don't know what I'm going to do about the house, but I take one day at a time. To try to think too far ahead is to drive me into a panic state. I'll just have to keep working on repairing my roof, one small section at a time. I know it may take eight more years to finish, and time spent working on that is time not spent earning a living, but the way I see it, shelter is priority #1. I just wish that labor were more affordable. These construction people get a lot of money for a few weeks' work. I can only imaging the hourly rate $70,000 works out to over two-three weeks' worth of work. I'm told they highball the figure because they don't know what they'll be getting into with a rot replacement job, or how extensive the damage. Still, I think it's way over reasonable. I find it difficult to hire services that earn more per hour than I do. I would have to work ten years to earn when these guys would charge me for three weeks' worth of work. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of. So now I'll have to look into the cost of demolishing the shack on top of the roof that prevents me from rebuilding the roof properly and then getting a 36x50' tarp to throw over the whole roof to keep the rain off while I work on a section at a time. I've rebuilt 20% of the roof in 3 years (along with two whole rooms from the floor joists on up to the walls and ceilings). I've a long way to go. It would be a lot less difficult if I didn't have to waist 80% of my effort dealing with the town's incredible appetite for money. Sometimes I wish I were a Socialist, just so that I could live with the false notion that my sacrifice was noble, that I wasn't be robbed of my life blood, that I wasn't working a large percentage of my time for nothing. But I know better...

And with that, I return to the week long task of figuring out my income taxes. I am NOT in a good mood this week. This yearly slavery is another damned waste of my time!

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You're pretty darned sharp and wise beyond your years to recognize that with age and what we lose in physical ability, we gain in wisdom. But I also understand what my English professor said many years ago, when making a remark about epistomology: "the more we know--the more intelligent we are, the more we suffer and feel mental anguish." We all know the antithesis of this is embodied in the phrase "ignorance is bliss". Indeed, the street bum who is in a drunken stupor is jolly with not a care in the world because he lives in the moment. The intelligent person is always worried, because he sees deep into the future and is always concerned about trends that may affect his survival. That, to some degree, is contributing to my unhappiness: I know that it is only a matter of time before I fall behind on my taxes and armed confrontation won't be far behind. I know that I am getting too old to be climbing on rooftops and ripping off sheathing, yanking out rotten joists and racing against the next downpour to get it all closed up. I've given up on posting pictures of it because people were appalled that I'm 'raising a child in that house'.

This makes me a bit curious as to how old your are. My father-in-law is in his mid-fifties and has built his own house. Does all his own repairs. Is a master-welder in NH and is just, generally, and all around fix it guy (except for electronics). I mean, he's a maniac...works all the time. I WISH I had the drive that he does. He built a 1929 Model T from a pile of metal scrap (I'm not embellishing either!). He's also one of the more intelligent people I know (in fact I plan to lend him Atlas Shrugged, as I think he'll enjoy it).

I don't mean this to be offensive in anyway, but from what I've read (which has been the whole thread), it seems you now use the cover of "Objectivism" to put the blame of your position on the government, instead of maybe a little more where it needs to be. Maybe there's more to it, but I'm not sure. Anyways, just my thoughts on the matter....take it as it is, I guess.

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Don't worry. You'll either accept life as it is, and find good things in places you never expected, or crash and burn into the realm of depression. Neither is final, so don't get too excited or sadden by this however.

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Well, I will just say that I am getting on in years and some people are already saying to forget about any wild dreams and just make sure your kids have a good life insurance policy on me, etc.

I had my midlife crisis in 1983-84, where essentially, the crash & burn already happened. Spent a year burying my pain in bottles of J.D. Old No 7. Now, a few billion dead brain cells later, no creative ideas whatsoever emerge from my mind. I'm stuck in routines and familiar patterns because of this.

While I am a sort of 'jack of all trades' I certainly am master of none, which is bad when it comes to finding employment. I realized about 10 years ago, as my graphic design business evaporated in favor of college kids with Macs, that I really don't have anything unique to offer that 10,000 other people can't already do for peanut wages.

Meanwhile, I'm on phase three of my home renovation emergency. Preparing to risk life & limb as I gut about 220 sq ft of roof and an east wall. Just got the bare bones of my scaffolding up today. Still have to make it safe for a faltering old man who easily loses his balance a lot lately. I'll probably be working on this roof the day I drop dead...

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If I make an out there suggestion, if you haven't seen it, go rent the movie fight club. If anything will put a good solid alternative to what's going to happen if you don't follow your dreams, that movie will smack you back into reality.

If you realized the full impact of that last sentence, I daresay you'd head for your dreams, as its the only alternative that'll really bring your life the sense of purpose and fufillment that's worth living for.

Existance should never be centered around getting by, existing, or making it through the day. Existance is something to grasp by the reigns with both hands and ride through it as hard and fast as you possibly can.

(Removed quote of entire body of immediately preceding post - sNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd

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I had my midlife crisis in 1983-84, where essentially, the crash & burn already happened. Spent a year burying my pain in bottles of J.D. Old No 7. Now, a few billion dead brain cells later, no creative ideas whatsoever emerge from my mind. I'm stuck in routines and familiar patterns because of this.

While I am a sort of 'jack of all trades' I certainly am master of none, which is bad when it comes to finding employment. I realized about 10 years ago, as my graphic design business evaporated in favor of college kids with Macs, that I really don't have anything unique to offer that 10,000 other people can't already do for peanut wages.

What's that old cliche' from school?

"If you think you can't...you're right

If you think you can...you're right."

I see which one you've picked.

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Don't attack him, please.

But there is one thing that you are doing wrong, I think. You hold on to high ideals, which is good. But since sticking to them is hard, you stop the pursuit. I don't want to say that it's not hard. I bet it is. But is that a sufficient reason to give up? I don't think so. Now this is not positive thinking. You've maneuvered yourself into some trouble. But self-loathing never helped anyone. The work ahead of you is hard. But it doesn't mean that you should give up. You can stand work. I bet it won't kill you. You may not be able to do things as good as you used to, but you can't deny that you can improve. And just because you have a lot of hard work ahead of you doesn't mean that you are doomed to a life of misery. You still have your wife and your kid and your hobby. Try to work on your energy level. And please refute that nonsense in your mind telling you that all is lost and that life is a bitch by necessity. Both is objectively wrong. And you know that. Getting what you want may require more work and effort than you thought. But is that a reason not to do it? Wouldn't not doing what it takes be a sacrifice?

Now the goal of this is to help you, not to put you down. Chances are, you're already doing that by yourself in a way that I would never dare to. Stop that. Focus on the problem ahead, fight your irrational negative thoughts and get going.

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If there is one thing I do, it is follow my dreams. But that makes me a dreamer, and reality is, a lot of those dreams are not realistic for a person with my mental powers. Society wants speed. Sure, I can do things that many others can do and I can do it well, but only if I have ten times the time. That doesn't fly in this 'need it yesterday' society.

I realize that I have probably made many mistakes. Like spending the first half century feeling miserable about a lack of female companionship. It wasn't until I decided to leave the US that I found my 'soulmate' as it were. That person was just not in the US. I regret wasting decades looking for Mrs. Right here in the US. Now people acuse me of robbing a young woman of an opportunity to have a husband for life, and for having a child, who will likely not have her dad alive at her graduation. Yes, I made some selfish choices in that arena. But I do my best as a husband, even starting out this late, and my wife is reasonably happy.

So I am here, and things are what they are now. All attempts to make a decent living doing what I do best have met with frustration and failure. I posted a $3500 business loss last year. Well at least I don't owe any income tax. Part of the house is collapsing and I'm engaged in a life & death struggle to save it. At the very least, at least it gets me off my fat ass and results in a noticeable improvement in my fitness level. Good, hard work, taken slow and easy, certainly isn't harming me. Though I need even more sleep than before.

I'm where I'm at, and I'm taking one step at a time to deal with the immediate problems in front of me. But the local government wants too much money from me. I have not the resources to produce that money, especially now, as I struggle to undertake this dangerous rebuilding project. I know no legal or moral way to come up with tens of thousands of dollars in a few weeks. And me, being as materialistic as I am, am nothing without my possessions. The house is my spirit and soul. Without it, I have nothing.

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But that makes me a dreamer, and reality is, a lot of those dreams are not realistic for a person with my mental powers. Society wants speed. Sure, I can do things that many others can do and I can do it well, but only if I have ten times the time. That doesn't fly in this 'need it yesterday' society.

Okay, let's take the bold step and accept that you are actually as slow as you make yourself (ten times, come on, here you are exaggerating!). Even if this is the case, there are many positions where you don't need that speed. Like that teaching-thing I told you, for example. You overgeneralize here.

I realize that I have probably made many mistakes. Like spending the first half century feeling miserable about a lack of female companionship. It wasn't until I decided to leave the US that I found my 'soulmate' as it were. That person was just not in the US. I regret wasting decades looking for Mrs. Right here in the US. Now people acuse me of robbing a young woman of an opportunity to have a husband for life, and for having a child, who will likely not have her dad alive at her graduation. Yes, I made some selfish choices in that arena. But I do my best as a husband, even starting out this late, and my wife is reasonably happy.

So what? Your problem is your absolutistic demands that don't have any roots in reality. Like "I shouldn't have taken so long to find my wife." Why? First of all, you just took so long and second, there's nothing wrong with that. I understand that your preference would have been to find her earlier. Your problem is your irrational demand that it absolutely had to be and that now your life is miserable because of that, or worse: that you are miserable. That's just wrong. I mean, you have had the persistence to spend half a century to find a woman, which is not what many people have. And then you actually found her! But what do you do with your luck? You feel pity for yourself for not doing it earlier. And why give a fuck about what people say. It was your wife's choice, wasn't it? They can't take your self-respect if you don't give it away.

So I am here, and things are what they are now. All attempts to make a decent living doing what I do best have met with frustration and failure. I posted a $3500 business loss last year. Well at least I don't owe any income tax. Part of the house is collapsing and I'm engaged in a life & death struggle to save it. At the very least, at least it gets me off my fat ass and results in a noticeable improvement in my fitness level. Good, hard work, taken slow and easy, certainly isn't harming me. Though I need even more sleep than before.

Honestly, if your business doesn't produce the results you want, why not get a job? It looks like the best way to beat your financial troubles. You respond to this with "I can't stand living for someone else." But this is also a wrong absolutistic statement about reality without any basis. You may hate it. Okay. But you make yourself more miserable by the shit you give yourself with your dogmatic thinking about what life should be. So instead of just doing the job, you (actively) engage in self-loathing. It's not that the job itself made you miserable. You make yourself miserable everytime you have a job. By giving yourself crap like "I can't stand it!", "I can't live like that!" "If I had created this universe, I wouldn't have this stupid job!" or something of that order. It's no wonder you feel miserable then. But it's not the job itself, but your thoughts about it that make you miserable.

I'd also say that you could get a teaching job. This is the best mix between using your already existent resources and avoiding work (time) pressure.

I'm where I'm at, and I'm taking one step at a time to deal with the immediate problems in front of me. But the local government wants too much money from me. I have not the resources to produce that money, especially now, as I struggle to undertake this dangerous rebuilding project. I know no legal or moral way to come up with tens of thousands of dollars in a few weeks. And me, being as materialistic as I am, am nothing without my possessions. The house is my spirit and soul. Without it, I have nothing.

See, this is another one of these wrong absolutistic statements. "This house is my spirit and soul. Without it, I have nothing." First of all, your house is a house. I understand that you have put a lot of work into it and that you really like your house very much. There's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that weird add-on of "Without it I am nothing.". Come on. This is just plain wrong. And your house is also not your being. You are not your house. And your house does not define who you are. You can live without it, even though you would prefer to live in it, even very very strongly. But that doesn't mean that your life ends if you should lose the house. It may hurt, sure. It would be way better to keep it. But you are turning this (wrongly) into a life-and-death matter, into some cosmic punishment which it isn't.

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I don't know how to do this quoting thing properly, so I'll try to address the issues, chronologically as you responded:

You bring up teaching. That cannot be ruled out. I do like to talk about a subject that I know a lot about. There is some satisfaction to seeing that one's discussion can make a difference in some student's lives. However, without a Master's degree, there is really little opportunity unless you're well-connected. A possibility of a low-wage night adult education, non-credit course position might be there, but I would not be convinced that it would pay the bills.

About marrying at a late age, I am a rather selfish person by nature. However, the comments of others, even the incident that happened to me not long ago while preparing to ride bikes at a park, a young fella walking up to us and asking "want a helmet for your daughter?" referring to my wife, castigating me for forcing my problems on an unsuspecting Filipina, well, as hard as I can be, at times I do reflect back on these comments and wonder if I am doing the right thing by my wife and daughter. What I regret is that I didn't start out on a 'normal' relationship at the normal time in life, raise a family and send my kids to college and what not. I am feeling that the best years of my life passed me by, while I slaved and struggled in jobs I detested, getting in fights with co-workers and always having high blood pressure and ulcers during those years. It was a constant mess. Those were awful years, and I hope to never re-live any of that. So now I am here and like it or not, married with a kid. I keep hoping that I beat the odds and live a very long time, so I can watch Amanda grow up, graduate and go on to college and then get married. But under it all, I sometimes feel as if I did all this for irationally-selfish reasons--ie., fear of being alone, dying alone in my old age. Partly because I needed a reason to get off my collision course with the federal government and my love of unlicenced broadcasting. Whatever it was, I reached a certain point, and something in me took over and said "go to Asia" and the rest is history. I suddenly dropped everything and realized the clock was running out and that this would be my last opportunity. I justified it in my head by reading the stories of dozens of 60+, pot-bellied bald guys who married young filipinas and fathered their first children. So went ahead and "wrested Heaven by force". But everything is on shakey ground. Forces beyond my control threaten to take our home, seize my child, and separate us as a family, because when the government takes your home, in this state, the state takes children away from homeless families--even when it's the State that made one homeless. So in many ways, I have subjected my wife and daughter to potentially-dangerous possibilities. I know the past is gone and I can not have it back. Sometimes I just feel angry that I couldn't get it right 30 years ago.

About jobs and business: I had jobs all my life. It was when things came to a head and boiled over in the 1980s that I ended up taking an early retirement. I was suicidal during the final year of the last job I had (the tampon manufacturing job). I felt like I was in prison every day that I worked there. There were better jobs I've had in the past, but those jobs are gone today. There used to be a time when an electronic technician was allowed some freedom to do some design work and think on his own. But then the 1970s came and suddenly the trend changed and I was treated as a robot--just a pair of hands to do exactly as the engineers told me, and not think for myself. Then I met ditch diggers that earned 3 times my weekly salary. I suddenly realized I was grossly underpaid. The years went on, the jobs got worse. They started to cut back on employees and force the remaining to do more work, and the pressure increased. Conditions were bad, it was terribly hot, people smoked, five radios on different rock stations where screeching in the background, and I could not concentrate on my work at all. I nearly landed in jail, a felon, as one day it got so bad that I could not contain my rage anymore. I moved to another job position, but found that while the air conditioning was nice, the work was always unfinished and I could not go home with a clear conscience--the unresolved issues hung around, only to greet me every morning in a stale, depressing manner. Later that year I was hospitalized for a nervous breakdown. It was 1984 and my midlife crisis. Then came the tampon job, because I could find no other work after a year of job hunting. But that quickly became a living hell. I stuck in out for three years and then, one day after being suspended for being sick the 8th time that year (the paper dust was causing me lung problems) I chose not to return to work and issued a statement of not so nice words about their new zero tolerance attendance policy. I've been self-employed ever since and the ulcers, the diahrrhea and the high blood pressure have gone away. I feel better and happier than ever, as I feel a degree of freedom, and I don't have to muster the endurance to get out of bed at 5am every day and battle a 2-hour commute in heavy traffic anymore, one of the worst aspects of regular employment that I can recall. I love my sleep. I slept 14 hours straight through the other day, after erecting an exterior wall in my house repair project. I know that there are successful people that make a really good living as entrepreneurs and I know that almost no one with a full-time job ever makes out well, unless they are a CEO or high up in the corporate ladder. I don't see myself working for Wal-Mart, which is about the only employer left in town, besides the Super Stop & Shop. I still have hope that somehow I can make money doing video production, animation, or perhaps as a sound system designer and consultant. Or, perhaps, as it's been suggested to me by others, a writer. But that last one is a tough nut to crack.

A final word about the house: if I don't have the house, I am living on the street. As a homeless person, one cannot support marriage. The state will also take our child away. The house contains all the objects that are my passion. I have 'unusual' hobbies and interests that cannot be enjoyed anywhere but in a house, in a remote rural location. I realize too that we have a good location. I've been shopping around the internet for a similar housing situation in a cheaper part of the country. Every time I find a piece of land abutting a state forest or some place that will not be developed, where I have nothing but a forest of trees as my view both front and back, the price tag is always around $1.2 million. Our house may be in shitty condition, but the location, and the lower level of the house are a tough thing to replace.

I am doing one of the most difficult renovation taskes now, literally having replaced an exterior wall this month, and now facing the task of tearing off the roof, gutting all the joists and cutting, hacking, and ripping out all the rotten timber, then building new framework, hoping to find good wood left in the origiinal structure to attach the new framework to, and dealing with an inner ear balance problem, while trying not to overstrain my heart. My wife is very concerned about me dying either from a heart attack or falling off the roof.

Frustrating is the fact that after all this effort, the town will likely take the property for back taxes.

May was a wet, rainy, flood-record month this year. I worked on this wall throughout, even having to wrap my drill and saw in plastic to prevent the motors from shorting out in the rain. It's been raining non-stop for two weeks now. A state of emergency has been declared. The next town up has not seen a flood like this since 1936. And still, I press on, working on the downward sloping side of the roof, with buckets of water falling on me as I work. It was literally like doing carpentry under a waterfall. Once in a while, I'd get a mouthful of water, or inhale at the wrong time and get water up my nose. But the wall is constructed now. And the roof is next. I do not look forward to it. I am very concerned that we might get more rain while the roof is off, and the water will flood the floors below and flood my inner sanctum, my studio, where all the possessions that I value almost as much as my life, exist. But armed with the best tarps I could find, I will surge forward with a single-minded obscession to tear out the cancer that is destroying the house and rebuild it new and better, room by room, section by section. It takes my full time and resources and all my limited energy. After a day of working like this, I can barely move or bend a joint the next morning. I can't tell you how much my knees hurt when I try to bend them now. I'm in a lot of pain. But I will get out there on the scaffold tomorrow and put up asphalt felt on the outside, rain or shine. Right now I cannot think about the taxes, or how evil our invading-guest/new world order government is. I just have to survive and rebuild, one day at a time, hour by hour, minute by minute.

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Hi Again,

I saw the pics and had a thought. From what I saw, you have a reasonable grasp of rough carpentry. Ever thought of trying construction? Pays pretty well most places, especially if you know what you are doing. For what it's worth, I personally have found the trades very psychologically rewarding. Depending on your skill level, there are quite a few companies that will pay you to supervise crews. This would obviously require some physical labor on your part, but not as much as you would think.

Gordon

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