Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I actually posted an "UPDATE" at the end of yesterday's blog, in case you missed it. I suppose UPDATEs should be posted on top, in a new post altogether, for those who don't like to read and then re-read blogs, but what do I know? -I'm new to this whole blogging thing. (Well, 291 posts should elevate me somewhat.) Also, it may interest you to know that I proofread my grammar, refine my points, and hop up my posts with extra jokes and adjectives at the end of every day, so you may enjoy this all the more if you read a day behind. Fun, huh? That's right: by the end of the week, this post will be Hemingway.

Yesterday is over. Now, today. -which involves me going to Santa Ana, back beyond the Orange Curtain, as they say. I heard the Santa Ana winds were returning tonight, too, so won't that be nice? Santa Anas in Santa Ana, though I understand one has nothing to do with the other. Anyway, the job is a referral from 2003. Wow. Cover must still be standing. And through all those high winds!

Yesterday, Prager began his show by announcing that it was Monday, and then querying "doesn't Friday seem like forever away?" To which I nodded in my car, ah YES. To those of us who worked 4 out of 5 of the last weekends, I'm not sure Friday even matters anymore. But, hey, it's work, for which I am grateful. I know that "work" tends to taper a month or so from now, so maybe that's why the diligence is going around. Thinking about our income, I asked Mrs. Ditchman what percentage of "income tax" we pay, and she responded that we don't pay very much of that, we pay mostly the social security taxes, which are called "Self-employment tax" on the forms. Great. Why don't we call it "Self-sufficiency Tax" or "Self-starter Tax"? The "Ambition Tax". Oh, you're going to do it all by yourself in this country? We'll have to tax you for that. Seems the only surefire way to get out of paying taxes is to not make any money. Solutions! The stuff profitability is made of!

That's the thing about running a small business, you're always only sixty days away from bankruptcy, ninety days away from foreclosure, and you get laid off after every paycheck. Someone better tell Joe The Plumber that, he might reconsider purchasing that plumbing business. Also, the fax machine rings and delivers GE Money updates on east coast time, so we get that bright ring in the house at 3:30AM. Doesn't everyone?

Last week before the show, we were visited early in the morning by this guy. I can't tell you how many customers ask me for something like this, and here's a guy who put up the money and JUST DID IT. (Patent pending.) He sells them for six bucks a piece and the little twisted bits of metal probably cost a nickel each, but God bless him, he was the one who finally got it together and just did it. Wish I had. Anyway, he shows up at the house and he's a fifty-year-old, kinda burly dude, and filled with vinegar. He enthusiastically gave us a crate of 'em to sell and then told us his life story (we didn't ask.) He builds aluminum covers, too, and has been doing it for years and years. "I'm a one man show! Sell! Build! Stand there in the sun and take a breather while my customers shake their heads!" Yessir, I know the feeling. Then he claimed to have a new product in the works. It's simple, cheap, and "every backyard in the country will want one!" Then he went quiet and wouldn't tell us what it was and, well, wow, I can't wait. He left in a hurry.

Mrs. Ditchman and I had a small argument about who was going to drop off the kid at the sitter this morning. I relented, because she was worked up and there was no talking her down. I'm in no hurry to drive all over SoCal today, anyway, but she also wanted me to come home early so she could get some work done or something. Let me get this straight: after I drop off the kid at the sitter I have to go get a trailer, drive to Romoland to pick up materials, drive out to Santa Ana and drop off materials and tear down their old cover, haul it to the dump and then return the trailer all before five? It's like two hundred miles! I'm not sure it's physically possible, but I'll try my best! Let's go for it! (Oh wait: there's no more beer in the fridge? CAN'T BE DONE.)

That's what running a small business out of your home is like, in case you were wondering. There is stress. Out the door we had an additional argument about who got to use the GPS navigation thingy today. Again, I relented. (Look, she's rushing off to work and she's nine months pregnant -you can't argue with that!) Finally, Mrs. Ditchman leaves the house and you can count the seconds until the phone rings and it's she reminding me of something or other about the kid that I was certain to forget. So, forgive me, but when the work day is finally done and the government comes around and points at my wallet and says "not yours" -well, it frustrates me. But get a job working for someone else? Aiyeeeee! What am I, a masochist?

I was up on the ladder yesterday and I thought: only twenty-five more years of this sh!t, that is, if I start pumping my beer money into the IRA, and fast. Better get on that. Lord knows the social security taxes are already spent by some baby boomer. Do I need the beer more now, or then?