Make Up Your Mind!

Before the latest round of economic woes, the press was critical of the excess consumer spending and our appetite for new and shiny things. Now I read that it is our reluctance to spend that has the recovery on hold. Either spending is a good thing or it is not. To the Press, I say, "Make up your Mind!"

In my humble opinion, I think that most of us are building a little nest egg just in case things don't go as well as we hope. I think it is a personal thing and it is varied from family to family. It was reported that there is a pent up demand for appliances that will spill out one of these days and help drive the economy back to a more consumer driven place. I think that if your wash machine and dryer works, all the advertising about the newer front loading and steam cleaning units won't make you rush out to buy. To me, the nest egg is whatever Barb feels comfortable with. As long as we don't go hungry, what difference does it make to me what the balance looks like.

I think the Government is screwing with supply and demand and because of the stupid laws and rules people aren't sure what to do. We went to the home show this weekend and every booth had some mention about rebates or refunds or credits that are mysteriously buried in red tape and programs. Some are automatic and if you buy windows somehow you get a credit on your income tax. Others are some form of a rebate you apply for and the program is open to the first 1000 people. What they don't know is that unless it is a good deal in Barb's eyes with a short repayment period (Less than 5 years) we will probably not do the deal.

After 20 years, I think Barb is looking at the kitchen counter remake. When we built here at Rabbit Run, she opted for a laminate counter top. After all these years the tea bag stains and years of cutting things has them looking fairly bad. The kitchen sink is way beyond looking bad and we saw a lot of neat ideas. What is the determining part? $60 to $65 a square foot cost. We have a lot of cabinets in the kitchen and that all adds up to just what do we want and at what cost? Back to the consumer question. What does it cost and what are we willing to pay?

Oh well, off to the Doctor this morning. I am sure that you don't want to know what that will cost. They will run a lot of tests to make sure that I am on the right track and don't have some rare or hidden disease.



  1. MUD, Low-E windows are quite possibly the biggest scam that I have seen in the Obama induced Green Madness. A tax break to install new windows that do not increase the energy savings? MADNESS!

    Having been in the building industry minimally 33 years, cheaper is always better in my opinion. Who needs to pay a huge sum for function when the cheaper product is generally just as good? Twenty years for plastic laminate finish is as good as ceramic and no grout joints to catch the chicken blood!

  2. Paul, The only problem with the cheaper laminate is that now we are at the end of its life and home a lot to look at it. I'm sure that if we were both working and gone a lot it would be OK for another 20.
    I wonder what we really want in our buildings. I was in germany and the Hotel we stayed at had been there over 250 years. Parts of the roof were that old and here we had to replace our roof after about 18 years.
    The biggest problem with today's modern buildings is that we needed to relocate the warmth and the cold and average out the temperature in the building. In fact it would surprise people to know how much the cooling units run to keep the buildings "normal" even in the wintertime.

  3. MUD, in my career, I have designed only one building that the owner expected a 100 year lifespan and that was for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. How funny is that? Of course, the square footage cost was almost 350 bucks per. By comparison, the Visitor Center at the nation's Capitol cost about ten times that and was a 40 year building.

    As far as the countertop is concerned, since you are cooking all the time, now, it would make more sense to spend a little extra to get more durable tops. Ceramic is NOT the way to go in my opinion. It is just too hard to keep clean. A manufactured stone or natural slab stone would be a better choice for me. Even the post-formed solid surface laminate is better than ceramic, but a lot of folks are using the tile. It is pretty, but dang, boy, you are forever scrubbing on it if you cook regularly.

    On the ac/heat issue, I still prefer natural gas furnaces and electric condensing units. Preferably a very cheap one with the highest SEER rating possible. The cheaper, the better for Mississippi because our furnaces do not get a real workout, but the a/c certainly does.