Vote for me, if you want to live

I love fall, I know it sounds morbid, but I just love it how all the plants shrivel and die around me while I get along just fine with a light jacket.

It makes me feel genetically superior.

Fall is also the time of year when the eggnog comes back to the stores, hockey starts up again and all those freakin' bees get what's coming to them and die lonely, freezing deaths.

It's pretty much perfect.

Every four years, however, my perfect season gets ruined like a wedding cake with a dove in it.

If you really need more of a setup than that to windge about the Presidential election, you really haven't been paying attention.

Now I don't mean to sound like I'm criticizing the whole system. I love democracy, but democracy comes from Greece and we American tend to screw up must things that we get from other countries.

I think our track record with “Mexican” food backs be up on this.

No where south of Arizona will you find anything like unto the Chalupa.

The problem is rather than being based on debate and compromise, our political system is basically a game of hot potato, only with media people instead of music and in place of a potato, drugs and hookers.

Either that or its a race to make the other party's candidate look like he steps on puppies for exercise.

If we're going to make it seem like one guy is good as Gandhi and the other guy is as evil Megatron (I was going to say Hitler but then according to to Godwin's Law, I'd have to stop writing) then we should skip this whole election crap and have them settle this as true good and true evil should: with a light saber fight.

Actually I'd just wait to see who pulls out a red one, and then vote for the other one.

It would save time so I could go watch the bloody-knuckles match to see who gets to be VP.

Another thing about this whole process that is really in need of a make over is the mascots. An elephant and a donkey? That's really the best we could come up with?

I still don't get why our two political parties chose these two animals. Why would anyone chose to associate politicians with the two dumbest, stubbornest, stinkiest animals who are good for nothing beyond carried heavy loads and making tons of cheap fertiliz–

Oh wait. Never mind, I just figured it out.

I've also never understood why people will say that their candidate is the because people in another country want them to win.

Maybe you've forgotten, but people from other countries are the last folks we should be listening to about who to put in charge of our country.

It's kind of like the other team telling you you should let the fat kid pitch in kickball. They say it's because they think it would be good experience for him but really they just want to see how many line drives they can bounce off his head while they run up the score.

For the most part, I think that most people in both parties (yes I am aware that there are more than two, but as part of the voting American public, I don't care) are good people who are honestly doing what they think is best.

The problem is the people around them are so greasy you could fry a chicken on them on a hot day.

These people are salesmen, and salesmen are the natural enemy of engineers. We're like camels and ducks.

The only thing more annoying than all the dickweeds out there trying to get me to vote are all the super dickweeds just trying to get me to vote at all. I'm going to go to set myself up

Voting may look like a multiple choice test, but you can't just go ABBACABA like you did on the SATs. That's how countries end up like France.

This is why the write in option is the only option makes any sense. Mario and Captian Kangaroo in '08.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is not running for office. If he were he'd run under the “No Soup for Monkey” platform and call the organization the Toga Party. Comments can and should be left below.

His mascot is better too.

I'm working on a column about how annoying this current election is and I came across this video, now I finally know who I'm voting for.

I can really get behind a President who's answer to the teen pregnancy problem is to punch Micheal Cera in the wiener.

Steve Puts the Cry in Financial Crisis

I don't want to alarm you, but killer bees are no longer the biggest threat to this country.

It turns out we really are our own worst enemy. As a country, we've really screwed our own pooch so much we've turned a once proud and powerful free-enterprise system into the economical equivalent of falling on our keys.

On my own, I don't understand much of the current situation. When it comes to things financial – along with matters of basic hygiene, how I feel about people in our neighborhood and what I like to eat – I rely of my wife for information.

My wife is a brilliant woman and things like this are right up her alley. She's got a PhD in economics and she is always willing to teach me about the area of her expertise. Just the other night she told me all about supply and demand (apparently, it means that I have to supply whatever she demands).

Not to demean her accomplishments though, but it's not hard to look like a financial genius when standing next to me. I still have a ceramic Snoopy full of “just in case” pennies.

If not for her I would spend all my money on Mountain Dew and cheese.

From what she's told me, a lot of the problem stemmed from sub-prime mortgages which are mortgages that are given at a sub-prime rate, to sub-prime borrowers wearing sub-prime shoes.

Now, I may by new to this world of people who know that 401k is not just a whole lot of k, but even I could have told you this was going to lead to trouble. The name should have been everyone's first clue. I don't want sub-prime time TV. There's no way on earth I'd eat sub-prime beef. Why would I get a sub-prime loan?

And yet people did, at an alarming rate.

Speaking of alarming raters, the other problem with these loans was that many of them had an adjustable rate. “Adjustable” is an interesting word. Consumers look at the word “adjustable” and think, “hey, my pants are adjustable, the seat of my bicycle is adjustable, I like things that are adjustable. I want my loan to be adjustable too.”

The lenders on the other hand see the word and think “Hey, I bet we can use this to screw people up the back of their adjustable pants.”

And they did, rates shot up and – as was foretold by the name of the kind of loan – mortgage payments got “adjusted” much to the shock of many sub-prime borrowers who were under the impression that the bankers were going to be their friends.

Have you ever seen a movie where the bankers are a bunch of kindly old men looking for people to help with the wads of cash falling out of their pockets? No, you haven't, because in movies their always portrayed as a bunch of heartless, money-grubbing dillweeds.

Movies like this are natures way of warning us that bankers are, for the most part, heartless, money-grubbing dillweeds. The kind of guy who would kick a random stranger in the nards for $5.

The joke was on the money grubber this time. Not only did people not like the new much higher rates, they tried to pay off the difference with gummy bears.

Apparently if you're the kind of person that thinks a sup-prime anything is a good idea, there's also a high chance you consider your favorite candy to be legal tender.

The last straw in the camel breaking economy was when President Bush, because – according to reports – is a giant a-hole, took that little knob on his desk that says “economy” and cranking it all the way down passed “rocky” to “good crap we're boned.”

I hope this look at the economy and it's troubles has proven helpful. If you have any questions be sure to let me know. I'm putting together some helpful handouts to explain the whole thing with charts, graphs and a cartoon of the stock market waving it's genitals at everyone. I just need to find a Kinkos that will let me pay for printing with Swedish fish.

Geek on.

Steve Shinney is doing what he can to weather the current financial situation by hiding under the covers and clinging to to his IRA while crying. Calming comments can be left below.

Home is where you spend your money

After much deliberation and several near-marriage-ending fights, it's done. My wife and I have made an offer on a home.

My wife is thrilled about having a place to raise our family and all the equity we'll be having (or making, or whatever verb you do to equity). I'm just glad I don't have to go house hunting anymore. I was really bad at it.

It's hard to look at an empty house and imagine it as the home you would turn it into. You find yourself thinking things like “yeah, that's a nice banister, but what would it look like with my underwear drying on it?”

Fortunately you have a realtor with you at all times, so these trains of thought never lead to anything that would end up in the papers.

I don't think house shopping should be this way. With other large purchases, such as a car, you're allowed to try doing what you will be doing with the car. You drive it.

I don't think a 20 minute tour, 17 of those minutes being spent talking about school districts, is enough time to know if you will actually like living in a place. I think I should be able to move in for a few days. Give the place a bit of a test-live. It makes sense.

Of course I think I should be allowed to lick any cake I'm considering buying.

This is because I'm not the kind of person who makes life decisions quickly. I dated my wife for two years before we got married. It took me months to decide which college I wanted to go to. But I decided which building I'm going to spend the majority of my life in less than an hour because some one else was looking at it and because my realtor said I could have pie.

I'm too scared to poop now.

There are just too many unknowns.

Things I don't know about this house that scare me:

Is it haunted?

The house is going inspected for structural integrity, various pests and mold. It will not be checked for ghosts. Let me tell you something, if I wake up to get a drink and find myself face to face with the spectral remains of a young lady, hacked to pieces on her wedding night, I'm not going to be too concerned with mold.

What birds hang out in the back yard?

And at what times? While, I love doves and quail visiting in the evenings, I am not a fan of squawking, pooping alarm clocks (this is why I don't have kids). I'm also concerned I don't know the neighborhood outlook on BB guns.

How does it smell in the rain?

We've all been in a house at one point that smells a bit like an old person on soggy days? I don't want to be the house in the neighborhood that everyone checks the forecast before they visit.

Is it haunted?

I'm serious, it really bothers me that I don't know this. If this house is on a Native burial ground, I'm going to be so pissed.

How are the neighbors?

Are the nice? Are they douche bags? Are they robots? Are they robotic douche bags? I know none of these things. The only living being in the area that I've actually met was someones dog who appeared out of no where to smell my wife (I can't blame him, she smells excellent).

I tried Googling all these things, but all the links were to Wikipedia (which I still don't trust ever since the Golden Girls incident). I guess I'll just have to suck it up though. Sometimes a man has to Kirk it up and live where he hasn't lived before. I think I can do this. I think I can make it work.

Unless there are ghosts. Then I will cross those streams so fast, it'll make your head spin.

Steve Shinney is so concerned because his house was built in the 60s. Do you have any idea how many people can die in a house in almost 50 years. A lot, that's how many. Comments and recommendations of a good paranormal investigator are welcome.