Saturday, March 26, 2005

No one here gets out alive

Life is really kickin' me in the teeth. I haven't heard anything from the guys in PA, though they are set to pay me through May. My financial situation has come to a head. With the severe loss of income going back as far as last September I have gotten myself in a really big hole. My checking account is perpetually in the red now and the money coming in isn't enough to get out. I know how it happened but I don't know how to get out. Due to income limitations enforced by OPM I will never be able to make more than $41K/yr gross. My disability annuity is just under $20K/yr gross. Now $61K doesn't sound to bad (though if I were healthy I could be earning around $100K). The problem is that this is the theoretical maximum I can earn. In reality, due to sick days and now 4 months of unemployment, my actual take-home pay is closer to $35K net. With the debts I have due to the whole "Year From HellTM" and the subsequent unemployment for two years (not to mention being homeless for one of those year) almost all of the money I get is sucked up really fast. Now I have bills that are two and three months late. Add to that a $10.8K credit card debt (again, thanks to the "Year From HellTM") and there's nothing left for anything other than rent. The thing that really burns me is that I can't just go out and get any old job. I can't even push burgers & fries. My disability is now to the point where I can't even cook dinner or load the dish washer or do laundry anything like that. I'm becoming a hermit, trapped in my home. If it weren't for my son I'd probably just waste my life away on some park bench.

It feels like I'm stuck in quicksand. I'm going down for the third time and there's no one at the lifeguard station.

Musings on the Malaysian Grand Prix

So far this season is not exactly burning up the track. I don't like the new rules for tires and engines. It was so hot during this race that no one wanted to do any hard driving for fear of losing their tires. Fernando Alonso started at poll and pretty much went wire to wire to win the race. The interesting news was that both the Toyota and Red Bull (nee Jordan) teams finished in the points while Ferrari had another dismal outing. They are planning on running the F2005 in Bahrain so maybe we'll see some more of the red cars in the points.

Anyway, that's good enough for now. You can find more info on the F1 site at

Friday, March 11, 2005

Minor rant on the Australian Grand Prix

I don't feel like doing an in depth commentary so here's a quick rant.

First the results; Giancarlo Fisichella won for only the second time in his carrier. The first one was a back-handed win in Brazil a number of years ago. This was his first real "I get to stand on the podium" win. Michael started last due to an engine change and didn't finish the race. Ferrari still got a 2nd place with good ol' Rubens Barrichello. The only other thing of note was David Coulthard finishing 4th and Christian Klien taking 7th to give the brand new Red Bull Racing team enough points to put them 3rd in the constructors race. But even with this the race was quite uneventful.

Now, on to the rant; Here we have another F1 season just beginning. And what would be an F1 season without some new anti-Schumacher-Ferrari rule changes. This is the third year that the FIA has passed idiotic rule changes just to keep the champions from winning. This year, among others, there's a new rule that you have to keep the same set of tired from practice through the race and you have to use the same engine from practice through two races. I'm waiting for the "everyone gets to use F1 spec engines but Ferrari much use go-cart engines" rule. Or the "the Ferrari team has to start each race with -10 points, -7 for Michael and -3 for Rubens" rule.

Anyway, with luck Malaysia will be more interesting.