Remember those buffets….Sizzler, Golden Coral…..where you can pay one price and gorge until you resemble a zeppelin?

Well I do, and we are experiencing an all-you-can-eat moment this week (both Cupcake and I).

For the most part, our World is pretty tame. Quiet, Unassuming. Without Drama.

Until the last seven days. Without going into too much detail, we have gone from empty plate to a third trip to the pasta bar. We must have done something to Anger the Gods. Nothing tragic, like a death or a sink hole gobbles up our house, but enough mediocre-to-big things to absolutely leave us in a state of anxiety that we have not experienced in years. We have corrected most of the side effects, but still have some lingering concerns that will take another 2-3 days to ease their way out of our subconscious. Sigh. We are just getting two old for this shit to happen.

Since most of my readers are in, or approaching, their golden years, have you ever had one of those surprising weeks where enough stuff bad happens that you just get overwhelmed?

Ice it up!

Cupcake and I are empty nesters, and have a house that is a little more than we need, but with interest rates and housing costs soaring, we are staying put. Our electric bill would range from $250/month in the winter to $450 in the summer (remember, we are in Florida, so our A/C season is 12 months a year).

Rather than turn on our Central Air, we decided to place small, discreate window units (out of public view) in our bedroom and the large living/kitchen area. The Bedroom’s is 5,000 BTU, and the LR/KIT is 12,000 BTU’s.

We immediately saw our electric bill plummet to barely $100 in the winter, and $200 in the summer, with no degradation of living quality. The two combined keep nearly the whole house at a very comfortable 70-72 degrees (F).

I figured that if one broke, replacing it would be cheap ($200 for the small, $400 for the large) and easy (remove, replace).

The large unit has been in place for about 10 years and has no issues. The small one is not so durable, and is making awkward fan noises, so it needs to be replaced (this will be the second replacement in the same ten years). Compared to what it is saving us, the investment is worth it.

So I did my homework on the best window units to purchase, and one showed up as a “best” on nearly every review sight, so I went onto Amazon (Prime), found what it cost, did some cost comparison with local stores, found it to unavailable at HD/Lowes/Wally/Target, so ordered it. It will take a couple of days to arrive

A Central A/C unit cost $7,000 – $9,000 to replace, needs serious annual maintenance, and has a life expectancy of less that 7 years. This in addition to the electric bill. Yeah. We are good with the window units.

One click, one friend

My wife, Cupcake, is a teacher. She teaches online college, and in-class public schools. She has been at both for years and has noticed some strange shifts since social media, specifically Facebook and Tic-Tock, have become the dominant influencer in today’s youth.

One of the big ones, and to me one of the most egregious, is that students measure popularity by followers and likes. People they have never met and no little about. Popularity in school has been around since star Quarterbacks and Head Cheerleaders, but it never really involved teachers.

Today it does. Students expect teachers to actually be their friend. They treat the teacher like they do online followers, and can be very abrupt, and sometimes vile, when they find out the teacher is NOT their friend, and does not “like” their homework/assignment/test (usually by not scoring it as an A++). They do not grasp the concept of boundaries and classroom control.

Newer teachers (say, aged 23-27) tend to get on board with this philosophy because they want ALL the students to like them. Older teachers, try to create that separation, and it can turn sour quickly.

Do I have a solution to this problem? Maybe, but I can assure you it would not be popular, and involves voltage. Not just for the kids, but also the young teachers.

Wanting the Yin AND the Yang

Read a great article where an agency that specializes in polls decided to round up several groups of GenZ members (born 1997-2012) and asked them what their job expectations were. If their answers were not so funny, I would be scared, but….well…they WERE funny beyond reality. We are talking 11 years old to 26 years old. Here is what they said:

  1. They needed (and expected) a starting salary of at least $125k a year to so they can live comfortably
  2. They expected 4 weeks of paid vacation
  3. They expected unlimited sick days (which sounds to me like every Monday and Friday off)
  4. They expected flexible hours of their choosing
  5. They expected the employer to cover the cost of day care for any children they have or expect to have in the future
  6. They expect a structured, timely promotion system

Now, this sure explains why they are unhappy with earning $11 and hour as a coffee barista. Unfortunately, their high school diploma or BA in 16th Century Chinese Pottery does not put them on track to start out as the VP of Global Distribution for a Fortune 500 company, so instead they go on tic-tock and BITCH that they cannot afford the same house as a 53 year old Brain Surgeon.

I would think this is all just blowing steam, except that Politicians (D) need votes at any cost, so they support bills that try to “level the playing field” and “create equity in living” standards.

Bleeding Heart Plant

I normally leave the garden pictures to Cupcake, but this is one of my favorite plants. The Bleeding Heart. It started out as a twig in a single pot a couple of years ago, and now I am training it to vine on three metal wire walls. It can self spread far and wide and be very invasive, so training it is very important, even from a pot. As you can see, it is behaving well. I also took a close up so you can see the flowers themselves. Eventually it will be a solid wall of flowers, but that may be a couple more seasons away.

Pick your flavor!

I make cheesecakes. Delicious, creamy cheesecakes. KETO friendly cheesecakes.

So do a lot of people. What makes mine different are the flavors I make. Yep. Different flavors of cheesecake.

Most have had Peanut Butter Cheesecake, or Chocolate Cheesecake, but I take it to the next level with…ready for this….Raspberry Cheesecake, Black Cherry Cheesecake, Vanilla Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Watermelon Cheesecake, and tomorrow, I will be making one of the most unusual cheesecakes:

Root beer. Yep. Root Beer. In a chocolate bean pie crust.

Any of these tingle your taste buds?

Follow up warning

If it is your intent to order Eve’s book, you might want to pre-order through Amazon. The preorder price is a guaranteed $16.95. After the preorder price, it appears it will go to as much as $28.00. This is not the publishers doing, it is Amazon’s doing, and we had nothing to do with it.

May 1, available

Many of you follow my wife’s blog (Cupcake Cache), but for those of you who do not, her first Novel (The Bayou Heist) will be available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble on 1 May. They are available for preorder now. We got the lead copy yesterday for the final blessing. It was a long ride to get to this point, and anyone that has written a book (or endeavored to do so) and tried to get a major publisher to run with it knows that this is a nearly impossible task, but damn if she didn’t get it done!

Up from Zero $?

I do not know about your area, but her in the Tampa Bay area, rents are rising faster than the cost of eggs. I keep reading numerous stories about people that are whining (yes, whining, and I will get to that) about finding themselves on the verge of homelessness because their $950 per month apartment is now $1,675 per month. Every story leans on the idea that the landlords are “bad, bad” greedy people taking advantage of poor people.

What these articles do NOT mention is just how many of these whiny snowflakes took advantage of the mortarium for EIGHTEEN FUCKING MONTHS and paid zero rent. How many blew through their stimulus money on new rims for their new car. A year an a half of living for free, with no intent to ever catch up the back rent. Landlords had to still maintain, fix shortcomings, and in may cases, pay these leeches utilities to stay in compliance with local laws.

These articles do not mention that the landlords now have to increase operating costs because of huge spikes in insurance, the services (landscape, pool cleaning) increased by 200%, and that employees wages doubled (you know, because unskilled laborers bitched they need $15 an hour).

So now the landlords have to recover what they lost for 18 months, and at the same time, keep pace with their own increased costs. And they are the bad guys? They are not, and if that means you need to live in your 2022 Lexus with its $7,000 rims, so be it.

Now since I do have an ounce of compassion, if a renter did not take advantage of the moratorium, paid their rent and utilities, and the landlord STILL raises the rent any more than would normally be expected, then yes, we have greed at play, but I am guessing that these are not the ones getting the sobbing headlines.