Schilling Away

Since I have become a stay at home dad, I have wondered how we can afford it.  I asked around as I got to know people and learned that many clipped coupons, sold 21st century Avon (Jamberry, Amway or Pampered Chef were the ones mentioned at the community center) or clicked sites for pennies.  I have done the latter for years so just increased that trend and have actually made some pocket money.

I have $100 in gift cards to the Home Depot sitting on my desk (a bookcase/ shoe rack/ side table).  They are from 3 sites that I cashed in.  All of these are built off the Amway model of getting friends involved for more money.  Anyways this is a not so subtle plug for you to join and give me more pennies.  If you don’t care, stop reading after the first one, I’ll be back next week with more amazing stories.

Stefan Wolf Art Society 6

My buddy Stefan is an amazing artist.  We’ve known each other for nearly 15 years and he has always had a sketch book with incredible visual interpretations of conversations, funny quotes turned into images or just sketches of Newsweek covers.  They were always really well drawn and generally funny. He draws good.  He also carves and makes incredible wood block prints.  Some of the sketches are random but his prints were always so detailed I thought they were better than most art for sale.  When we met many years ago I thought he should try to sell it.  When we were roommates years later, I tried to get his portfolio to help get his work in coffee shops.  Then he got married and he started getting some commissions among friends but being forced to produce was stressful.  Now he has a kid that he stays home with while waiting for high paying forestry jobs to come to him.  So finally a few months ago, he allowed me to start posting some drawing and woodblock prints for all to consume and make him money.  The cool part with Society 6 is that if you upload it for a print, you can also get it on a shirt, bathmat or coffee mug.  So now you can get random cartoons on coffee mugs, and amazing prints for your bathroom from the same artist and place.  And two SAHDs get some cash off your purchase, unequally divided to artist.

Link to awesome- https://society6.com/jeremiahmeeks

Swagbucks

I have made nearly $50 a month for the 4 plus years I have been apart. I get points by running videos on an old smart phone and my laptop, occasional surveys and less occasional online purchases they track and give points for.  They also have a real bonus system that rewards you for making about a dollar a day with a few extra dollars at the end of the month.  The only problem is that you have to keep finding a way to earn your points when they change the limits on videos or when the surveys think you are lying.  But for $50 a month I give it a try.  I do this almost daily.  It annoys the beautiful Hannah sometimes.  Most of the time she doesn’t notice.

I get 10% of your earnings (you get all yours too) plus $4 when you sign up. It’s a pretty amazing deal honestly.

Link- http://www.swagbucks.com/refer/guidooconnor


Instagc

I started using this last year and struggled to find a way to make much money with it as most of the offers and surveys were the same as Swagbucks.  Until last month when I found (or they updated) the streaming videos and now I get about a dollar a day from running videos while I sleep.  Plus they currently have a holiday bonus program that you can get up to 10% bonus of earnings made between now and December 31st.   Also they live up to their name, when you redeem a gift card you get a link right then to print it off (or you could use online).

I get $0.10 at signup and 10% of some earnings.

Link- https://www.instagc.com/guidooconnor

Microsoft Rewards

This is how I check the news most days, getting points by clicking through top stories.  There is a daily limit in points so it only takes a few minutes and generally once you go through all stories you have your points.  I redeem the points for Starbucks, almost all the time.  So this one is a marriage helper because the beautiful Hannah loves her an Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato in the summer and Peppermint Mocha with Coconut milk in the cold (it’s available all years kids).  I can redeem a couple gift cards a month if I do all the special deals.

I get nothing, but you can get points from signing up through instagc or Swagbucks
Mypoints
I’ve been a member since 1998 it says.  That is like 15 email addresses ago.  It is simple, you get emails.  You click the link.  You get 5 points.  You see a special deal for 1500, but they want your credit card info and you don’t really want to join a wine and cheese of the month club so you X out, and click the next.  I go through the emails once a week, and redeem the points a couple times a year.  Not a big money maker, but I apparently have gotten a few thousand in 17 years (point values change so can’t really tell).  Also they just got bought by Swagbucks so things are changing and might merge soon.

Ibotta

Just started using it.  Works best for those who buy a lot of beer, wine and packaged foods it seems but also gives me discounts on fancy diapers, eggs, milk and bread.  Which has slowly added up.  Anyway, if you shop at Walmart and like barcodes this is for you.  Please use my code- kspldjm and get $10.  I get less.

So if you made it this far, you get to see me admit I am kind of pitiful and or ridiculous.  But I make a few dollars a week by having technology work for me generally while I am doing other things.  I only do a couple every day and having completed daily goals is nice for my head.  Anyway. Bye

If you do sign up for any of the above and want my pointers just text or email me.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Administrative, Obese Obsessions

Rainy Day

It is chilly and raining today.  The plan was to move a pile of mulch around the yard today, but it just doesn’t sound fun, unlike sitting in the big chair and doing nothing.  So I sat down to write and typographically vomited about the ridiculousness of politics and media and facebook stories.  And well, it looked like vomit which no one needs to see, and I don’t feel like trying to pick out the good points and construct something.  Because that would be like rebuilding the food digested…this has gone too far.  Instead I finished a blog post about all the penny clicking I do to pass time and attempt to help us stick to budget.  So if you don’t want to know how to get rich quick*, I will see y’all next week.

*richness not guaranteed

Leave a Comment

Filed under Administrative, Adulthood, Freewrite

13th

Watch Now Seriously

 

The beautiful Hannah and I just watched a documentary together….WHAT?  I know it doesn’t happen often but she actually sat down and learned WITH me. But that’s not my point.

My point is that this nation has a history that sucks.  We have institutionally accepted horrible things happening to our own citizens since the beginning of the country and allowed institutionalized slavery to continue to present day.  And since there is an election coming up don’t think I am speaking as if one side started or stopped this.  They are all guilty as #$@#@ and need to be held accountable. Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama…all have allowed slavery to continue in newer forms. Don’t believe me? Watch The 13th on Netflix.

Are you back? Or never left?

Here’s what I learneded, there is a line in the 13th amendment, which ended slavery in its previous form, that allows men (people) to be free as long as they are not being a punished for crime.  Which sounds great until people are falsely arrested, forced into a plea bargain and then have a felony on their records FOR LIFE.  This causes them to not be able to vote in many states, not be able to receive government assistance, not rent, not be employed, and even not receive life insurance.  After the US Civil War, prisoners were used to help rebuild a lot of cities and infrastructure destroyed in former slave owning areas.  It was a good deal.  If you needed more “workers” simply round up former slaves for loitering or trespassing, since they no longer had jobs or places to live.  This started what we see today with over 2 million people in the prison industrial complex.  That is people that are under house arrest, on long probation or physically in a facility.   Bogus loitering charges still exist, but often drugs or theft is involved.  We all have heard stories of police planting evidence, (Google has about 1,280,000 results in 0.49 seconds) and of quotas.  It’s like they HAVE to arrest people to keep their jobs, right?

The movie delves deeper into the money side of it. How laws are passed to arrest more people and politicians use code words to scare the public into behaving or make us feel safer when we feel attacked.  We like when we hear people will have to serve 85% of sentences and Mandatory Minimums and 3 Strikes.  But then we start hearing what is actually happening to people who are arrested.  How they are coerced into plea deals, and not allowed to leave because of high bails.  Even 10% of 10k is often still too much for working people or single mothers created by their husband, boyfriend or baby daddy serving life for a third strike, 2/3rd of which might have been false.

I believe police have hard jobs and attempt to do good the majority of the time.  I also think they are trained to identify people of color as guilty and Caucasians as victims.   This has more to do with what I have heard from experienced people than from any article on the interwebs.  People of color being stopped and ticketed for small offences (5 over, broken taillight, out of state tags too long) while I was let go with a warning many times.  Or larger offenses like possession of drugs not being reported for white friends, while people of color were illegally searched to find them.  Therefore I truly believe that lives of crimes and drugs come from circumstances.  To gain power and money to get out of the “rough life”, but then get a felony and keep the cycle going in your family tree.  If you don’t have privilege or opportunity you fight more for it and bend the rules to get there.   I have met too many people on the streets with felonies from 19 or 20 years of age that limit them when 50.  Lesser jobs, lesser apartments, lesser insurances, lesser lives and so falling back into the escape of drugs and then the need to crime.  Yes, crime as a verb.

Instead of helping people break the cycle though it seems like the government is enabling the profiting off of poor, uneducated and disproportionately people of color specifically in the prison complex.  Instead of setting up a safety net that would help most, the system mandates felons can’t live in subsidized housing, penalizes family unity by limiting food and job benefits per address, and caps the limited benefits people can legally get in a tight timeline.  So people numb themselves with illegal drugs and resort to crime to buy food and keep the cycle going.

The major problem that The 13th exposes though is that prisons in this country are for profit, privately run institutions.  Therefore they need “raw materials” to make profits.  Unfortunately this leads to arresting people that can’t defend themselves in court.  Those who have been raised to fear the authority of police and all law enforcement.  Those whose fathers were arrested and served time for the same or similar crimes they will fall into.  If they were public run, I am not saying this wouldn’t happen it.  But I am saying that if they were charitably non-profit they would attempt to be run out of business.

I have more in my head that I’m not sure I have the words to say and realize I am just rambling so will leave you to ponder this quote from the film.

“We (African-Americans) thought, I mean they called the end of slavery “Jubilee”, we thought we were done then.  And then you had a 100 years of Jim Crow, terror and lynching.  Dr. King, these guys come on the scene, Ella Jo Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, we get the bills passed to vote then they break out the handcuffs, label you felon, you can’t vote or get a job. So we don’t know what the net iteration of this will be, but it will be.  It will be. And we will have to be vigilant.”  Van Jones

Stay woke y’all, especially those in the racial voting majority like me.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Adulthood, Junior, Overthinking, Reviews, The Jesus Way

Left

We – the beautiful Hannah and I- live in a nomadically transplanted city. Most people aren’t from here and most won’t stay… as we are learning.   People come for work, school or adventure often in their 20s and stay as long as they can or want.  The city houses a lot of people with grand dreams and plans who hang out until another job, partner or dream pulls them away.  We came as part of that group.

The beautiful Hannah has over a decade here.  I have lived here four times as long as anywhere else in my adulthood and am approaching that decade mark too.  We have lived in multiple parts of the city and are on the edge of it now it sometimes feels.  The mountain can be seen from our patio window when the leaves are gone and the sun is out.  The coast is an easy drive away and allows us to have lunch after a nice drive if we have a free day to play.  The food is amazing.  The beers were good and hopefully will be when we can go out again.  People are generally laid back and welcoming.  And even though it is touted as the Whitest City in (US) America and part of the Least Churched Region in North America, we have many people of other colors in our inner circle…and our “local” church.  People think and act similar enough to us for us to feel accepted.  We don’t get weird looks for talking to homeless or people with special needs.  We can own chickens, garden and buy only from the edges of the grocery store without judgment and know a lot of others that do the same.

We really like it here.  We have a house in a neighborhood that has a lot of real locals.  We have our spots, our stores, our communities, our old and new neighborhoods and the beautiful Hannah has a career at a school that won’t be transferred or moved.  We plan to be here a long time.

But we are consistently saying good bye to friends with whom we have connected it feels.  They move because of work promotions.  Because they want to move closer to family before having kids.  Because it was a short term thing that lasted many years and is now over.  Because parents need them back home. Or because housing is silly expensive and they didn’t buy a place yet and can’t imagine living paycheck to paycheck just to stay here.  Whatever the reason, Junior has a lost a lot of friends as have we and we realized we need to start making more connections again.  And in chatting with people we have heard that many are planning to head back “home” at some point.  When the kids need to go to school, or when it’s time to have kids, or when they need a real job.

The beautiful Hannah and I initially bonded over not wanting to live near where we were raised again.  Shortly after we met we began to make Portland our city together. We shared with each other what we loved.  We started combining traditions, routines, drinking spots, eating spots, and friends.  We made our home and are strengthened ourselves in the communities that would take us.   Those communities changed and shifted with marriage, work changes, and Junior and his demands.  And they change substantially when close friends move to green pastures they find or dream.

Leaving is not our plan or story it seems.  So I guess we are a little different here but that’s ok.

1 Comment

Filed under Adulthood, Dreams, Freewrite, Global Community, Junior, Marriage, Overthinking, Transparency, unfinished thoughts

Lack

As I write this, Neil my robot vacuum is cleaning. And all I can think about is lack of money. How we make spontaneous decisions that require money, generally not budgeted money. How we decide things will pay off eventually, but struggle to see the rewards. Somehow getting chickens was supposed to reduce our grocery budget. And even though we haven’t bought eggs since July, we haven’t had extra on that line. How growing a garden still has kept us in the red. How going to the farms in the area to pick berries, beans and peaches has filled our freezer but not our budget lines.
I like to see rewards and there don’t seem to be any. It might be because costs are slowly rising everywhere. Or it might be that we decide to add more line items to the budget.
A couple weeks ago, stressed about seating and storage we decided we will build an addition to our dining room. It will be amazing but even planning for it we noticed it will wipe out 20% of savings. But both the beautiful Hannah and I think it will make the house more “livable”.
Last week we made the incredibly adult decision to buy a car at a party. We went to say good bye to friends we were connecting with again because they were moving away and back to family. And while I checked into how move prep was going for them we ended up test driving a car. And then a couple days later had a payment contract and they took 60% of our savings as a down payment. We wanted a car instead of a truck because, well, an older standard cab Ford Ranger is not a family car. Junior can sit in it but the seats don’t conform to the car seat like a standard family car for some reason. So he just bumps and sways. Which of course he loves, but I imagine his foot kicking the door handle open, and his bumping seat flinging him through some magical serious events through the straps into a mailbox. We had talked about upgrading and about selling the Ranger, but didn’t actually plan for it. So now we have 3 vehicles and no leads on going down to two.
Also now, we don’t really have savings, as we go into winter, which has increased costs. But the beautiful Hannah gots a raise at her work. And in the middle of writing this, I sold a lawnmower. Talk about multitasking! Apparently this is what we do to get by, or what SAH parents do to pay bills. At least that is what I have heard. But they don’t have robot vacuums.

 

PS.  Here is the link for the Ranger if you know anyone and missed it above. https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/5811924702.html  

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Adulthood, Freewrite, Marriage, unfinished thoughts