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Archive for November, 2009

potential sucess for BB

November 30th, 2009 at 09:50 am

Lots of things have started happening around the Gamecock house lately. Everything has been so quiet that all this financial activity is a little overwhelming!

As stated in my previous post, BB got a part time retail job to start helping with bills and long term savings. Nothing was developing on the pro baseball side, and his lessons were limping along.

Over the weekend BB was offered a job as a pitching coach for a summer ball team in Illinois. Its the same thing he is lined up to do in Texas- but the IL team is offering a good bit more money for the same job. 4 months of work for an extra $250 a month plus big bonuses if they make it to playoffs and beyond. The team manager is one of BB's former managers and BB really respects this guy. BB is excited for the offer.

Then the very next day BB's MLB contact tells BB of 3 opportunities for a certain MLB team! BB is qualified for any of the 3 positions but it is competitive and BB has less than desirable experience levels. So it is a stretch but BB has sent in his resume and cover letter to the team yesterday. Any of these 3 jobs would mean a year round salary and up to 7 months of work in another state. His salary would be enough to make visiting him 1x a month an option. It's funny: He was saying a few weeks ago that he did not want any of these jobs even if they were offered to him- and now that he has a shot of landing one he is so excited! All his previous arguments about why he would not want the job are no longer objections. I think his fear that of applying for jobs and not getting them/ not being condidered was holding him back. It was his MLB contact who told BB exactly what the team was looking for, and laid out directions about how to apply that gave BB the confidence to pursue the job.

AND! A local soccer guy who provides lessons and camps to kids wants to expand his business into a multi-sport facility. He wants BB to become one of his coaches offering baseball lessons. The guy said he will handle all the marketing and he does not mind BB traveling during the baseball seasons to be a coach- it will enhance the sporting facilities business that they have a professional coach on staff during part of the year. The facility likely will not get off the ground till next year- but BB should come back from the season to an established client base. This was the area where BB is very weak- and someone is offering to do the work for BB!

I am so proud that BB is starting to see some luck come his way. Maybe writing that post that BB was having no luck at all got the ball rolling.

BB is working....

November 24th, 2009 at 01:32 pm

BB got a job! Let me say, this BB getting a job thing has been such a source of tension between us.

BB has been back from his summer job for almost 3 months and he has been a lost puppy. He retired from playing ball, and now it was time to find a full time job.

BB has zero office skills, no degree, and very little ability to market himself to the type of job he wants.

BB's initial plan was to get a scouting or coaching job when he retired from ball. In a worst case scenario if he could not get one of those jobs- he would provide baseball lessons to float him until next summer comes and he can go back to TX for another summer and do the same thing he did this year.

Well, turns out BB's contacts that he was sure would find him a scouting or coaching job have less ability to get him a job than he thought. BB spent over 2 months waiting for 1 job to open up that he felt he had a very good shot at landing. That spot still has not opened up.

BB wants to provide lessons here- but this is a new town for him and he does not have the established client base he had in Florida. BB thought he would easily get students through word of mouth but it has not worked so far. I have suggested several marketing options for BB but he is open to them till it is time to actually do the work (going to schools, talking to coaches, flyers on cars) and then suddenly he does not think the idea will work. It would be a waste of time. I could do the work myself- but really I am just too tired from working all day to do his share of work as well- and too fight him/drag him along as I travel from location to location doing the work he should be doing while I am at work.

BB applied to a few part time jobs to make up for the lack of lessons but it didnt quite work out. He thought one place was going to hire him so he refused to go on any other interviews- then they didnt hire him- then he had a trial day at a GREAT part time job but got sick with the flu and never went in...

I feel like at every turn- BB was a big fat disapointment to me. This was his turn to show me that all the years of baseball playing were going to pay off. This was his turn to bring in something so I was not paying all the bills anymore. This was his time to do something to pull his weight. But over and over he had an excuse for not trying, he had a plan...but all I saw was a hell of alot of video gaming every day.

During this time I had 2 severe breakdowns regarding all this. I just wondered if this was a sign of our future. If years from now everything would be the same- if he was really just lazy.

We fought alot. I felt he was being very very picky about what jobs he wanted to apply too. There was a baseball college coaching job available 4 hrs away paying about what I get paid and BB refused to even apply for the job. He said it was too far away (This coming from someone who moves across the country every summer). I think in reality he was really just afraid to apply to the job. He didnt think he would get it. Trying to get a local college coaching job has opened his eyes to how competitive and difficult it can be. I just wanted him to get his foot in the door somewhere. If he gets a coaching job far away...we'll make it work for a year and then reevaluate the options. BB refuses to consider this. He has narrowed down his options to the 2 local colleges as places he is willing to coach at. And neither of them even have any openings! So theres been some fighting. We both feel defeated.

But the good news came this morning that BB was hired to work part time at a local sporting goods retail shop. BB will work 20 hrs a week, he can continue to take his college courses online, continue to work with his 1 baseball student- and I guess he is going back to TX next summer to coach there.

So its not great news- it's not a career and it's not a long term job- but its a step in the right direction and it's going to help relieve the burden of me paying the bills/supporting him every month from my salary.

Doing the numbers he will earn enough from his baseball student and work to pay 1/2 the bills, put $150 a month into savings/save $200 month towards getting our windows fixed/and have $600 a month to spend on gas, food, whatever.

I am secretly hoping that this retail job might teach BB that he does not want to work for minimum wage very long- and maybe it will motivate him to start applying to those coaching jobs in other states- rather than waiting for a local spot to open up- or for his 1 MLB contact to find him a job.

The Oxford Club...investment club?? or Scam?

November 16th, 2009 at 07:49 am

Over the weekend BB's grandparent's came to visit us for a nice vacation.

Yesterday, BB's grandfather pulled BB aside and gave BB a $50 bill and a newsletter. He told BB to invest in a government gas rebate program and that he would get $300 every month if he signed up. (Or something like that- this is second hand information as I was busy in another room and never saw any of it.) BB just shows me the newsletter and money this morning and tells me his grandfather gave us a great tax break tip.

I took the newsletter to work to read it, and because I was too lazy to even open the 16 pg document I went straight to the CPA in our office asking if he has heard of a tax rebate on gas. The CPA has not heard of it and asked to see the newsletter.

Immediately there are alarming headlines in it... "The Best Kept Secret in this $1.6 Trillion Dollar Industry"..."Collect Fat Monthly Checks Thanks to the Government"..."How You Can Start Receiving Your Extra 3 Checks Every Month." ...with graphs and so so many propaganda paragraphs from "quotes" from current members who talk about retiring early and doubling portfolio's to talk of "$126,850% Gains...on This Global Retail Giant."

I look The Oxford Club up online and there are alot of personal opinions on forums that it is a scam, and there are a lot of personal talk on forums that it is a legitimate investors club. (I know that scammers will pose as legitimate members to improve their credibility.) It is NOT listed in "rip off report" as a scam.

I think it is a Ponzi scheme of some sort. I think I will send in my $50 for a membership and receive a booklet of what "Gas" companies to invest in and I will invest into a Ponzi scheme.

Here's the kicker: I told BB all this and he goes: "So what it if it is a scheme? We send in $50 and invest some money and get a check for $300? We just made huge returns! Why not do it?"

I responded: "Because they only give you those returns upfront- then they disapear and you never get any more checks."

BB said: "So what? We still made a ton of money even if we only get one check. What is the harm?"

I said: "Because then they give you a huge return so you will take all that return and also more of your own money to get more shares. It's not a big deal sending them $50, but then after we get a check we will want to send them $500. And we may never hear from them again."

BB then tells me "Ohhh...I see. Ok, well how about we just do it this one time for the big upfront return and then never again?"

How do I argue with that logic? It almost makes sense!

Anyways, BB can do it if he wants to use his grandfathers $50 that way. Although I think the $50 is only a membership fee and then we need to actually invest in the stocks they suggest.

My concerns are: I assume that BB's grandfather has been doing this for 2 months. The newsletter is dated September 15, 2009. I am scared about how much the grandfather has invested in this club. He told both BB and BB's father to invest in it and is a big believer in it. The grandfather is a big stock market believer and has always put his earnings into the market with careful consideration and precision. Over the course of his life, while working as a telephone operator for his whole life, BB's grandfather has managed to earn somewhere (family guestimates) in the million dollar or more range from the stock market. The whole family trusts the grandfathers judgement when it comes to stocks. I am concerned that this club could end up taking advantage of the whole family when it stops returning dividends.

I am concerned because there are a few financial advisors "quoted" in this newsletter about advising clients to use this club. I have a financial advisor...I am frightened that financial advisors could fall into this trap without their clients even knowing what is going on. I know it happened with Madoff...I worry it would happen to my financial advisor. Is there a way I can upfront tell my advisor that I do not want my money invested in a "too good to be true" fashion? Even if he becomes a believer in whatever program he gets swept up in? Or am I just at the mercy of his judgement?

I am grateful that the Bernie Madoff thing was such a huge newsbreaking story. I had previously never heard of a ponzi scheme and otherwise probably would have invested in this club and then REALLY invested in this club when I saw the returns.

So...anybody using The Oxford Club? If I get a positive response from a long term member of this forum- I give that responce a lot more credibility than any of the online searches and "quotes" from this newsletter. Should I even do it BB's way and invest an initial amount for a big upfront payoff then stop using the service? How can BB or his father break it to the grandfather that this is most likely a scam without crushing the grandfather's ego?

Brinks!

November 11th, 2009 at 06:26 am



Brinks is here! We picked him up from the pound yesterday. He is very sweet and well behaved.

Animal Control found him tied up in an abandoned building a week ago- but I think he came from a breeder and was somebodies pet at some point.

He knows sit, give paw, and walks on a leash very nicely.

Comparing him to our previous rottie (pictured in the upper left hand corner of your screen)- he sometimes looks exactly like her. Some of his expressions are just identical. And since it has been over a year since she passed- looking at him and almost thinking it's her is not making me sad- it makes me happy that she is still so strong in my memory and heart.

Tomorrow he gets microchiped and neutered. He was given all his shots yesterday at Animal Control.

I recommend Animal Control as a place to look for a new pet. There were lots of purebreds there and they are all on a short time limit.

Brincks? or Brinx? or Brinks?

November 9th, 2009 at 06:07 am

BB and I are getting another dog.

This wasn't planned at all, but we are very excited.

We went to the Humane Society's "Mutt Strutt" Saturday. An event where you bring your dog and walk a mile around the perimeter of a big downtown park. It is really quite a sight to see over 100 dogs being paraded around.

The Humane society brings several dogs that are up for adoption as well.

While there, I saw a huge white American Bulldog named "Boss" wearing the "Adopt Me" jacket and couldn't believe he needed a home. I spent a lot of time looking him over, testing him with my dogs and trying to think of reasons why adopting him would be a bad idea.

BB and I had never considered getting a 3rd dog but we have often talked about future dogs we want to get down the road. An American Bulldog is on our "one day" list.

Getting our next dog was going to be a struggle because BB wants a purebred. And a puppy. I have told him many times that I refuse to go to a breeder when so many homeless animals live in shelters and are put down.

I was dreading the time when we would get our next dog because it was going to involve a lot of arguing or compromise.

But this dog is a purebred and on our list of "we would love a..." breeds. So it seemed like too good of an opportunity to pass up. BB got mostly what he wanted, and we would get the dog in the manner I wanted.

After the Mutt Strutt we went to the shelter. The dog was there but he was bombarded with interested families. There were no completed applications on him yet but he would probably be adopted by the end of the day. If we wanted a purebred American Bulldog- this was our chance but we had to act quick.

BB and I talked about it and we both felt the same way. Boss was going to find a home. We did not want to stretch our resources thin for an animal that would sooner rather than later be taken into a loving home by a family that really wanted him.

BB surprised me. And surprised himself. He wanted to save a dog no one else wanted. Although he wants a purebred he cant actually bring himself to get a purebred when another animals suffering might be prolonged because they are less desirable.

We didn't find a dog at the Humane Society yesterday. On a whim we stopped in at Animal Control next door. Neither of us had ever been to an Animal Control center.

It was similar to the shelter but the dogs are on a 10 day time limit. They have 10 days from the time they come in to be adopted/ claimed or they will be put down. These dogs need a home quickly.

And it is cheaper. The shelter wants $150 per dog and Animal Control only asks $60 per dog. They will give him his shots if he is adopted out.

BB and I walked around and in one of the cages was a rottweiler. Many of you know we lost our first dog, a rescued rottweiler to cancer 1.5 yrs ago and it was awful. BB immediately wanted another rottie, but they are hard to find at shelters and I couldn't get another rottie right after our last died. BB has told me many times that he really wants another rottweiler and since they are hard to find in shelters then he is going to a breeder whether I like it or not.

It was kismet. BB and I both dropped to our knees to pet the dog through the cage. I just said "if he gets along with our dogs then we will bring him home-right?" And BB nodded and went to find a person to find out what the next step of the process was.

So now we wait. We filled out an application to adopt him. We tested him with our dogs- and once he is nuetered they will be fine. We have to wait till Tuesday when his 10 days are up to make sure his owner does not claim him to pick him up. The staff said they were pretty sure no one will claim him.

The staff at animal control know nothing about him. He was picked up as a stray and they just feed/water him till his 10 days are up.

So I guess the Humane Society's "Mutt Strutt" is effective. BB and I thought we were only there to Strutt around the park- and we ended up adopting a dog.

BB and I have decided to name him after the home security alarm system Brincks. (Because he is our security system.) But how should we spell it?

Brincks? or Brinx? or Brinks?